Just Turn Your Head

I woke up on Saturday morning craving a coffee, gluten-free pancake, grits, and eggs from Another Broken Egg Cafe.  The location nearest to me had a line out the door, not surprisingly given its location, so I went outside of 285 to a part of town where I spend much of my free time.


I was seated quickly and ordered the gluten-free pancake, a side of grits, and the Floridian omelette.


I have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with brunch foods.  I yearn for it a couple times every few months but after about four bites in total, I’m done.  Gastro-intestinally speaking, I’m done. Hunger pangs are gone, blood-sugar level stabilized, and cravings are gone.  Psychologically, though, the idea of and the motions involved in experiencing these foods (with coffee in tow) is too enticing to obey the signals from the GI tract to the brain.  And, on this particular Saturday, I had decided after two bites of pancake and three sips of coffee that I was going to the Mall of GA,* so I needed to be sufficiently fueled.


I was feeling a bit anxious that day because I had no envisioned idea for what I was going to do on Saturday, which is not characteristic of me.  I typically know by Thursday what I’m going to do on the weekend because it’s something to which I can look forward.  Lately, though, these “plans” have been few.  (Sometimes I don’t even know if I want to get out of bed or just take tumblring and reading into the bed sheets.)  I was especially anxious for a couple of minutes that day before my food arrived as I had returned from washing my hands and had started putting my rings on my fingers: one on a thumb and two on a ring finger.  I got the thumb ring on but as soon as I went to put the ring finger rings on, gravity intervened!  Yeah!

The thin things went rolling; I managed to stop one of them from going into the kitchen but I couldn’t find the other one.  I crouched down onto the floor next to the edge of the table and scanned the floor in front of, behind, and to the right of where I was sitting when the rings fell.  Soon, a few of the wait staff asked me if I lost something.

“My ring fell a second ago.  I found one of them but the other one….”

They started to help me look.  Then, I turned my head to the left and saw the ring next to the shoe of one of the waiters.  I cried, “There it is!”  He picked it up and returned it to me.  I thanked them.

One of the waiters (or managers) then said, “See, sometimes you just need a different perspective.”

Truer words couldn’t have been spoken in reference to how I found the ring.  I thought about what he said throughout the day as I took the scenic route to the Buford city limit.

I am so accustomed, so tied and bonded to the ways I think about myself, the world, and other people in specific arenas.  I don’t know any other lens because I’ve never had to use a another filter, nobody’s ever proven me wrong or out-of-my-mind..until fairly recently in my third decade of existence.  Seeing some things from the same vantage point day in and day out creates complacency, expectation, and blanks in memory.

Did I brush my teeth? I don’t remember.
Did she wish me a good night’s sleep? Probably.
Did I really just do that and say that out loud? I don’t believe so.

Can I be bold and trust myself to make decisions whether or not they become mistakes?  And what is a mistake, really? If no disagreeable result occurs as a result of some action, it wasn’t a mistake? According to whose definition of “disagreeable result” makes one thing a mistake and not another?

Biggest mistake of my life: getting my hair permed in fourth grade.  More or less the only thing I regret in this life.

Biggest non-mistake in my life: letting someone take me to places I had never wanted to go, but go I went and though I may not want to stay in those lands under those environmental conditions, I wouldn’t be where I am today, I wouldn’t be much of who I am today without those adventures.

So, a different perspective gives me the strength, the self-compassion, and conviction to undulate to the rhythms of my own being, to smile upon those who would not stifle nor admonish me for staying true to my being.

Oh, my waiter’s name was Carlos.  I wrote this poem for him:

If you’d like to see the other poems I’ve written for various waiters and waitresses in the metro-Atlanta area, hop on over to my Tumblr and look for the hand-written notes like the above.

* Mall of GA no longer has a Nordstrom, but, in the near future, there will be a Von Maur, which makes me so happy because Von Maur has the best retail restrooms ever. Ever.

2 thoughts on “Just Turn Your Head

  1. Christopher

    “………a different perspective gives me the strength, the self-compassion, and conviction to undulate to the rhythms of my own being, to smile upon those who would not stifle nor admonish me for staying true to my being…….”

    Laertes said (famously) to Hamlet:

    ……This above all, to thine old self be true,
    And it must follow as the night, the day,
    Thou cans’t not then be false to any man……

    Sexist this may be, but timeless in its acuity, it is.


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