My wife and I have favorite restaurants as I am sure many of you do, too. But apparently, somewhere along the way we upset the gods who oversee such things. Really pissed them off. And they have not forgotten. Now please note , we are not finicky diners. In 25 years of marriage if we have sent food back more than one time I would be surprised. We are not loud and boisterous. We do not ask for dressing on the side or off the menu items or clean glasses or water without lemon wedges. And if you think I protest too much or am subject to connecting random dots or fits of paranoia consider:
South of the Border Mexican Restaurant. Gone.
MaMa Fu’s? Gone.
Roasted Pepper? Gone.
Bread and Honey? Gone.
Genghis Grill? Gone.
Even Red and White is gone and we only ate there because it was in our neighborhood and the only other people we ever saw there owned the place. And watched soccer on the restaurant TV. They seemed happy in their empty restaurant. And very attentive. And they made a great roast chicken with black beans and rice and fried plantains on the side. But we made the mistake of eating there three or four times, which was one time too many. The gods who order such things took notice, rubbed their hands with glee and the restaurant-killing curse that we carry overwhelmed their earnestness, despite the red and white checkered table cloths and unlimited refills on the ice tea. They are long gone now and a new restaurant is going in there soon according to the hand painted sign in the window. And it does not stand a chance if we come to visit.
Someone might want to warn Bistro 1902, and tell them that we are really, really sorry. It is not our fault that their lovingly prepared fish, fresh bread and ample Groupons and Living Social coupons drew us to them. It was our go-to place, quiet and intimate with excellent service and ambiance. During our third visit both our main courses had a bit too much salt in them. Like we were worried about our blood pressure amounts of salt. It might already be too late for them. We are sorry. Don’t worry. We will be OK. We are used to change. To moving on. Doors close and doors open.
Eight months have now passed since I was diagnosed with clinical depression and six since I was diagnosed with lupus, an auto-immune disease. Every day I take five pills and four vitamin supplements. I do yoga, but not enough. I strive for 10,000 steps a day and often fall short. But I have moved out of the home office and set boundaries there. No more work at home, short of email/texts from my phone if they require immediate responses. Please understand that I have worked form home 95% of the time for more than a dozen straight years, most days of the week and most evenings. There were no true boundaries. Every now and then I would get a burr up my butt and crack down on keeping my day off as holy writ, an inviolate Sabbath, but it never stuck. There was always more work to do. It got so bad that when I wasn’t working my universe went off kilter and I became anxious. Free time became a burden.
So now I have for the past two weeks stopped working at home. I put Pandora on the computer at work, adjust the thermostat and forge ahead. And I meet people who stop by. They are interesting and weird and entertaining angels of a sort. And I answer the phone. I swat flies. I have cleaned up my old office, the one I am turning slowly but surely into a meeting room, and have busied myself making a mess in my new one. And I try to get out and shoot photos a couple of hours a couple of times a week in the Everglades among the alligators and senior citizens who love to take selfies with them. It is a brave new world, comfortably unsettling, yet right. I go to work and come home. Live and love. And ponder the great and greatest mysteries and look for new restaurants.