The story below has nothing to do with food or travel, but it does have to do with people, and the inspiration came from talking to a friend of mine while sharing a bottle of wine…just sitting and talking. Something happens when you share a meal with someone, or a glass of wine (or a bottle). It’s an intimate experience that has you focus on the person and conversation and not the outside world or the socially connected one through your phone. In the Las Vegas episode of Locals Only (coming soon I promise!) we go to a BBQ spot and talk about how you can sit 5 people at a table who don’t speak the same language, but have them eat a meal together and they’ll communicate the entire time. It goes back to our prehistoric ages before words were spoken, people would congregate around a fire eating their meals.
“You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” – Anthony Bourdain
The same behavior can be emulated today, especially if it is a small number of people. In those moments we truly get to talk to one another. Now anyone who knows me, knows I can talk for days. But more importantly is what I have been told, a compliment I hold close to my heart – that I am a good listener. I am easy to talk to. Maybe it’s because I pride myself on communication and hold it in the upmost regard for any relationship, but to me, a wonderful experience is sharing a drink or meal and just talking to someone. Which unfortunately doesn’t happen as often as I would like…our lives are so busy these days…and so often our meals are “to-go” and our conversation is a Television. But the other night a friend came over, we shared a bottle of wine and spoke. I did a lot of listening as this friend told me they were feeling lost. They had a sense of losing focus within themselves, sort of drifting along and second guessing all the major decisions they had recently made. I think all of us go through phases like this, as if a certain pressure gets placed on our shoulders without our knowing it – until the weight is too heavy to bare and we stumble and fall… Life has a funny way of doing that, as if we are walking a path gathering sticks made of emotion and leaves made of pressure, until our hands can no longer carry it all and everything drops – laid out in front of us like a broken puzzle waiting to be reassembled. So that is what we do, we pick up the pieces and those that don’t fit, we leave behind, and those that do, we configure and form into our lives and begin again. Sometimes, we need a little help… Sometimes people have a past that is so far different from our own. So we try to be empathetic and rather than talk – we listen. And sometimes, we write a short little story about it…
A Little Girl In Red Overalls
A little girl with bright eyes and hair the color of sand walks outside. Her red overalls can barely be seen in the darkness that swallows up the night. The cold hits her like an artic wave, but she swims on. Clouds float over her and even with the distance towards the moon, they recognize her. They respect her wishes and slowly depart as if Moses was commanding the red sea of the sky. The window to the heavens open revealing a Van Gough of Neverland stars. She walks. The seemingly protective trees become still, they know, everyone needs their space. They quiet their rustling and hold part with the wind. The girl is alone. For a moment she closes her eyes, but only a moment. She then looks to the heavens and beyond. She looks into the past for the stars she sees now, are already gone, but much like her memories, their light continues on. She searches for her star. The one that was left behind for her. Some nights it’s easier to find than others. Tonight is not one of those nights. She searches West and East, North and South… She worries that maybe the time has come and the light has truly gone out, like a candle with nothing left to burn. Vanished in the haze of new memories, losing to the distance from her world to his. A tear welds from her eyes and falls, dropping for what seems the distance of her stars to her feet. And then as if that single tear had cleansed her sight, the star appears. And she knows he is there. Watching her with those same dampened eyes. Smiling. Hoping that one day she too will teach her children about life in a Neverland full of memories disguised as stars. And she knows she will… All is quiet. The moment hanging on ever so tightly, never wanting to retreat. But like all things, this too comes to an end. The stars dim, the tears dry, the clouds roll back into the sky and the trees dance with the wind. The little girl in red overalls returns, safe, sound. Full. She is not lost. Nor will she ever be, for the stars of her past will always be guiding her home. Be Kind. Be Good. Listen. Scott