Lonely Eating

Sunday, August 7, 2005

I brought Doolies to my weekend breakfast place. I have a rotation of restaurants (mostly because I stopped cooking after my mother gifted me this incredible cookware set—no idea what the connection between the two events were). Susan’s is my standard breakfast place. It’s a small hole-in-the-wall eatery, with slanted floors, and local (read, mostly bad) artwork lining the walls. In its original incarnation, it was designed to be chic, with metal gating along the breakfast bar and chalked signs sharing a pagan ancestry (in that there were stars and half moons). The current owner bought it from three unsuccessful owners, all of which failed as the only breakfast/lunch place in Seward Park (which should get you thinking about what goes on in the SP). The thing that makes it great, however, is that it is within a short walking distance from the Castle. On any given week, I’ll try to visit Susan’s once on Sunday or Saturday morning.

Near Susan’s is my second local joint, P-something (it’s the Italian restaurant I always speak about, but can’t spell, Pizzuto’s, or something like that). I go there once a week as well (trying to keep my dining out where the same people can see me down to a minimum), eating half a dinner and bringing the other half home for a second meal (to justify the price). Because Susan’s is only open in the morning and afternoon, and Pizzuto’s is only open in the evenings, the two restaurants share some serving staff. (I’m a bit concerned about what will happen once Susan’s opens for dinner—she has been promising this for some time now, and has yet to deliver. Who will the serving staff chose?)

I brought Doolies to Susan’s today because I wanted to show the staff that, yes, indeed, I do have a friend (a fiancé, actually), and I’m not the biggest loser ever. You see, when I go to Susan’s or Pizzuto’s, I’m always by myself, usually armed with my New Yorker or my current book (I’m taking my time and savoring DFW’s first offering, loving every page and not wanting it to end), and my moleskine, in which I will jot bad story ideas or stupid notes that turn into these even stupider musings. So, I had ulterior motives for bringing Doolies to Susan’s: I wanted to disillusion the staff of my complete looserishness. When I told Doolies this before we went, she didn’t believe me.

After we arrived, we found that they had table service. This is the first time I’ve ever had table service at Susan’s, and I was pleasantly surprised. Our waiter, a cute black-haired high-school girl, took our drinks order and smiled the entire time. After she brought us our morning juice, she said, “We’re so happy you brought somebody!” In other words, she was excited that perhaps I wasn’t the biggest loser in the world. She continued, “We always see you here or in Pizzuto’s, and you’re alone and usually writing. We call you “the writer.” When me and (names forgotten, but she referred to someone that works both Susan’s and Pizutto’s—maybe Pizutto’s is with one z?) saw you with someone, we couldn’t wait to talk about it! We’re so happy for you.”

Now, this of course made me feel two things. The first: I’m happy Doolies likes looserish men because that’s what she got. And second: I eat at these places too often. I won’t do much about the second because of my cooking fears, and as long as Doolies doesn’t realize what the first means, we’ll probably be okay. That could have been much funnier. . .but at least I wrote something.

Doolies visited the Castle this weekend. As you can tell by the pictures below, Seward Park (okay, a few miles down the lake from the Park, but close enough) hosted the annual Seafair, the only cool thing to come around to these parts all year. (There is some Christmas caroling in the park, but I don’t think that counts as cool.) Chuck and his wife had planned to visit this weekend as well, but life sometimes has a way of changing plans on people. We miss them, though, and can’t wait to see them when they do get around to these parts again.

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