Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I woke up this morning knowing that I'd do something different. I wasn't hungry for my usual Japanese-y breakfast of rice, miso soup, and vegetables with tea. I didn't feel like lingering over my tea with Yuki and Jesse and an educational linguistics book. I didn't have a teapot to draw or paint and I'd already written in my journal. I showered, dressed, and took Yuki outside with me. We started walking down the path towards downtown Monterey. It was 7am. We made a brief stop near the blue heron trees, just long enough to count three herons in two different nests (the other day there were five). And, another stop to watch a snail slowly (snailingly?) scaling a garden wall. Once past the snail, I felt my automated MCFD (Magnetic Café Finder Device) click on and knew I could trust its guidance. Soon, I was crossing onto Alvarado Street, then tying Yuki to a table outside of Café Noir where I ordered a café au lait to go. My MCFD did not steer me wrong. A little sprinkle of chocolate, another of nutmeg, a lid, and I was good to go. But that's not all. In a matter of minutes, I was taking in the curly sculptured goldenrod facade of the California State Theatre, and then opening the door of Red's Donuts. I'd made a mental note to go in there someday to take a photograph of the customers I'd seen through the glass, all of them sitting there with their donuts and coffee, regulars chatting on the swivel stools at the counter, all in a row, steamy warm inside, cold and wet outside. I was inside the door now, actually half inside, because I couldn't bring Yuki in with me. I looked at the donuts in the case. What to order? I don't know the names of donuts; I don't know the language of donuts.... The donut woman must have seen my ignorance, for she offered me several choices, jellies, maple covered, custard-filled.... I picked one that looked good to me, asking for "one of the twisted ones", as a tug from Yuki reminded me he was still on the other end of the leash. So, I paid and left, walking happily on the sunny streets, alternating bites of sweet, oily donut with sips of creamy coffee.
Was it the caffeine that produced the joyful giddiness I felt while walking back home? Was it the sugary donut? Or, was my joy due simply to the refreshment--and my acute awareness--of doing something different?