CH 20 THE LA DINER
Everything inside me is sparking and jumping and more live than a downed power line in a puddle of water. I cling to the armrests of my restaurant chair in an effort to keep myself seated, keep my mouth shut as our friends share their stories.
I listen with rapt attention as they talk about living in China for two years, then moving to Indonesia, then Thailand. They tell us about the people they met and the relationships they made and the picture they paint is one where life is urgent and exciting and full of adventure.
I’m pretty sure the thoughts churning around in my head are shooting out of my eyeballs and I feel like an eager puppy as I cast my eyes from Jiro to our friends sitting across the table. The late morning sun is casting spotlights onto our half-eaten brunch, a booth crammed with hipster types in sunnies are talking scripts behind ours. I have the sense that anything could happen today. The stuff dreams are made of could materialize, at this moment.
And then, the cue I have been waiting for.
“What do you think, Hanako?”
“Yes!” I practically pant and the words come out in a rush. “If money were no object, I would leave everything behind in a heartbeat and get out of here. Today. Hop on a plane right now and not look back.”
Jiro turns his head to look at me like, “who are you and what have you done with my wife?”
“I mean, why not?” I say, defenses up, looking down at the cheap vinyl tabletop at our favorite 24-hour-breakfast-all-day-diner-dive. “We’ve talked about it forever. How we want to travel the world…”
“How we could see ourselves just moving from country to country…” Jiro adds, smirking a little.
“Yes! How you’d do music and I’d write about our experiences. We have nothing tying us here. We have no mortgage, no kids, nothing to hinder us in a real way.”
Our friends look at each other and grin, turn back toward us with one question on their lips. “Then what are you waiting for?”
Later, before they leave town, they hand us a card with some cash and something infinitely more valuable. A call to action.
“Write the book!” it says. “Write the music!” and then, “Travel the world!"
Photo by JACOB ZULANCH from Zagat.com