End of an Era

Why you don't like?

Why you don't like?

I had ended a three-year relationship with a woman that I had planned to marry. She had everything that I wanted: beauty, kindness, highly intelligent, financial stability, close knit friends and family, love of dogs. But something was missing. It wasn’t passion. Nor the connection. Or maybe it was those things, there in the beginning, then slowly seeped away like pinhole in a water balloon. I didn’t have the tools to fix our relationship. And the only solution was to end it.

And it pained me to do so for several years.

But something great came out of it. I had sunk myself into my new found passion, writing. Actually, it wasn’t writing as much as book one of the 7th Province: NIGHTFALL.

Thousands of my heart wrenching emotions helped fuel my main character’s emotions on paper. Losses that he goes through were better felt, understood. Of course, what I went through is nothing compared to his emotions, but without the breakup, I couldn’t have delved as deeply as I did. Tears was always a sign I was heading in the right direction.

Ahchoo!

Ahchoo!

Writing, however, requires some level of consistency. I have to sit down somewhere and write, be it on paper, computer, or imagination. Unfortunately, I’m a lazy person.

In my emotional turmoil, I had found a home away from home.

My Church

My Church

Borders café had become a place I could sit down from all the things that would tear me away from writing my book: TV, Internet, refrigerator, bed, couch, HGTV. OK. I was watching a lot of HGTV. OK. I still do. So to help focus myself and give me little excuse to do anything else, I bought a coffee or tea, glued myself to a small wooden table in the dark corner of the bookstore, and dove into the world of NIGHTFALL. Despite the babies crying, college kids laughing, soccer moms arguing, coffee beans grinding, and the constant frothing of lattes, I was totally undisturbed.

Time flowed by like a bunch of kids playing in the field with the warm sun shining.

I had spent thousands upon thousands of hours writing at Borders. People knew my name. I had seen cycles of baristas drift through like ghosts. Specialty drinks changed with the seasons. It was a safe haven for me to call upon my tormenting muse and write. My bliss.

Bathroom?

Bathroom?

Then there was a disturbance in the force, more aptly called, the Internet. Rumblings of Border’s financial troubles sounded through the grape vines. Months went by with nothing happening. Barnes and Noble fell into a similar predicament. They came up with a simple solution. They saw what Amazon was doing with the Kindle and created the Nook. It was a brilliant move and probably saved Barnes and Noble from bankruptcy.

Borders wasn’t so fortunate. They ignored the potential of e-readers. Their predicament became worse. They had dug themselves into a black hole by acquiring too many stores. Cut back their closing time from eleven PM to ten to nine. This forced me to change my schedule so I could still write. Reducing the hours did nothing to save them. So they heeded their competitors and came up with their own e-reader, the Kobo. Did it work? Kobo is a monetary unit of Nigeria. Not sure if that was a great choice.

News ebbed that Borders was going to close down low performing stores. I had no problems with this. I doubted my Borders would be closed. Border’s parking lot was always full. Except after closing but that’s obvious.

One day I had walked in and I saw this:

Chirp chirp

Chirp chirp

A few days later, I’d found out my Borders was closing and they had let go of all their baristas. An era had ended for me. My home away from home was leaving. My tormenting muse had no use for me. Simply put, I had gotten over my old flame. With it the completion of NIGHTFALL, four years in the making.

Borders may have been a conglomerate, but this Borders became my refuge. I, for one, am grateful. Thank you.

Free Coffee!

Continuing on with yesterday's post ofReading People,I remembered something today that made me laugh.  Several months ago, I was working in another office.  They have those vending machines that dispences hot cocoa, coffee, tea, etc. Periodically, the vendor will come to reload the machines and allow that particular coffee machine to give out free drinks.  All you have to do is press the clear plastic button, and, bam, free coffee or cocoa.  They can even choose between a large or small cup.  Keep in mind this happens often enough that once the worker bees hear about this a line forms.

Nothing funny so far, I know.

The one constant comment about the coffee?  "Yuck!"

Do the cubicle bees throw it out?  No.

What do they do?  That's right.  They drink it.

Do they come back for more?  Yeah.

What is it about free stuff that no matter how bad it may be people will line up for it?  It's the strangest behavior.

You see this in buffets.  People prepare themselves the whole day by not eating.  Once they get to the buffet they eat their fill.  They'll continue to eat, making sure they consume the price of admission.  Then are they done, yet?  Well...there's dessert.  You can't have dinner and not have dessert.

They'll load up on ice cream, cakes, cookies.  It's as if they've never seen anything like this before and hoard all the sweets.  By the time they lug their goods back, they're too full and leave most of the dessert.  And most buffet places have a policy of no doggy bags.

Why do people do this?

What's crazier is the buffet called Todai.  They serve Asian style seafood like sushi, lobster, different filleted fish, etc.  This one Chinese lady had an empty plate.  She rapped her fingers along the bottom edge, waiting.  Saliva lined her bottom lip.  Her eyes widened.  The chef appeared from the back and placed about half a dozen halved lobsters.

This lady had no shame.  As he placed them on the serving plate, she scooped them up.  I'm not a huge fan of lobster, but, damn, scand-o-lous.

What is it with people?

It's simple.  They don't live in the moment, busy scarfing everything they can get their hands on, not enjoying life right now.  They're constantly thinking there isn't enough, living in the future, letting the present fly by.  And it's no wonder when they're on their death beds, they think, "What happened?"

The hero of my story deals with this on a constant basis.  It's the one thing that saps his soul, making his job as peace keeper miserable.  He'll have to find a way to cope.