Planned Dinners. Drew Cienfuegos.

Over break (March 20-28, I believe?), I’ll be traveling to Santa Fe, NM and Fort Collins, CO to follow up on arrangements to make dinners for others, gathered by and organized through my friends Drew Cienfuegos (CO) and Celeste Egedy (NM).

Also, Drew and I have made plans to begin writing a book together through a series of letters. We plan to write the introduction to the book while I’m in Colorado and then follow up by corresponding through handwritten letters on various topics. We’ve talked about the idea many times over the past few years but never gotten to it. I’m excited to finally begin this project.

I’d like to share a few of Drew’s pieces with you:

A Very Sincere Worker.
Working in the tangled labyrinth of stainless steel
Friendship is obligatory and thus plentiful.
The repetitive mechanic of corporate food service lends itself to talking.
And talking.
At eight hours a day it’s hard not to get to know someone, even if words are not exchanged at all.
You can see their character in their work.
Their integrity in their cleaning, as they polish or neglect.
Their humor in their mistakes.
Their love in their hands.
Their dreams in their sigh, after a day of work.
There is a man who speaks little English, and entertains this difficult but easy friendship with lightheartedness.
I think he is my favorite and it’s reassuring to have such a good friend for no reason at all.
And night after night, we work, and laugh.

All You Can Eat.
Another night in the designed sterility of IHOP, coffee, shitty fries, and company. I haven’t really thought about it all that much, but yeah, I suppose IHOP has been the location of some of my fonder memories. Two homeless gentlemen join us to our left and novice body builders discuss gangsterisms to our right, we have very little to say. The coffee is decent which is more than I can ask for given the disposition of our waiter and the sheer volume of tables these three brave souls attempt to serve, but the entire fiasco, for all of it’s gaudy bar scene glamour is still lackadaisical. Almost mournful, for all it’s potential one would assume there would be some form of observation to shed light on the phenomonon, this late night oasis, but there are none to be had. There is no meaning behind the attendents, there is no significance to their choice. These people will eat their food. These people will return home, and just when everything seems to return to normal and meaning at least underscores activity we will return. It’s not jagged, it’s not comfy, it’s not good, but it’s there and sometimes it’s pretty damn refreshing to go where nothing means anything.
“Another Bullshit Night in Suck City”.

Satori.
This is the last place you ever said a kind thing to me.
Ever.
It’s unassuming, languid, and bears the strong aroma of cigarettes associated with most good places.
There are many of these places slowly losing their connection to you.
Every once in a while, when the sun hits them just right, or the wind blows a faint memory past my face
the stains of my memories dance like a fire that long ago died.
The flames have lost their immolating passionate heat, and now burn like a slow kiss.
warm.
distant.
The heat emphasizes the wrinkles on my face and I wonder how many of these signs of old age are new.
And then I drive, careful not to jump into that fire in search of it’s purity.
I’m not so young and reckless anymore.
The wind blows again at my back, and now the memory propels me forward.
And sometimes when I’m drunk
Or tired
Or Desperate
Or lonely
I sit next to that fire and remember those stains
And for a brief moment, just enough time to speak under my breath
“I’m Okay.”

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