Scanner Darkly

Today is Sunday, but it's not a normal Sunday.

I'm on a couch.  No, not my own couch.  I don't even own a couch.  It's a friend's couch and I'm stayed at his apartment last night.  He and I aren't the only ones here either.  Many friends of ours came to visit him.  We went to the massive drinking party known as Irish fest.  As usual, I drank more than my share, but I had a great time.  Drinking and Dancing.  I remember pretty much all of it.  The only part that escapes me where my steps exiting the gates and arriving to the couch.

But, it's now Sunday.  A very hazy Sunday.

Waking up is always a chore when your body feels wrecked.  All of us in the room, feel the same, so I'm in equal company.  It puts me in a good mood.  A grand time experienced by us all.  Time is short, though.  My bus back to Madison is in a few hours.  And my ride to the bus time is even sooner.  I shower and pack and off we go.  My friend has a very busy day so he drops me off with a good hour before the bus arrives.  Luckily, there's a Perkins nearby.

Sunday is a very popular day.  It's the most popular day for Perkins.

With half an hour before noon, the Perkins is filled with after-Church goers.  Many seniors with their best set of clothes on their old bodies.  Many children in their best Sunday dress or slacks.  Families, both old and young.  And me.  Standing in the entrance-way holding a backpack full of worn clothes and shampoo.  Holding another bag with my computer and other personal belongings.  Alone.  With slightly damp untied hair down past my shoulders.

Table for one, please...   Jim.

To the inquisitive population my mouth moves and spews out those words.  My eyes wander to the table of grandmas nearest to me.  Then they dart back across the restaurant to the front counter to catch a name tag.  Kim.  Slowing moving across the assortment of pies and muffins under glass.  I am a bit hungry, but that's way too much sugar for the morning.  That muffin is larger than my fist.

Should be about a 15 minute wait.

I figured that would be obvious from the crowds of lightly colored dressed people.  I find a bench and set my things down.  There are three other groups of people waiting beside me in this green and black carpeted foyer area.  Two of these groups are a single couple.  Both young men taking their girlfriends or wives to an early afternoon meal.  The other group could be either couple in 10 or 15 years.  A middle aged father in jeans with a ratty shirt with a Beer logo on it.  A wife with a big blonde pony-tail, jeans and jean-jacket combo holding a generic baby carrier with two screaming children using their mom as an obstacle for whatever game they're playing.  I smile, but inside I can't stop laughing.

Jim?

15 minutes later, the half-dead elderly couple had thoroughly scrapped themselves out of a booth for me.  I feign sincerity as they pass by.  I lift up my belongings and follow Kim to a now lonely booth by the window.  Such a waste.  Isn't there a smaller table for just one person?  Am I really expected to fill this 4 person space?  I complain to myself, but say only thanks.  My bags take up all the room next to me.

Hi.

Quickly, A young short woman greets me.  She's incredibly perky for a Sunday morning.  Morning to me, anyways.  Hi, I reply.  She asks me if I want anything to drink.  Milk, I reply.  She asks me what size.  Large, I reply.  And what would you like to order today, She asks with a smile.  What's with all these questions.  So fast.  I hardly had anytime to look at the menu, let alone think a response.  Can I get a water too, I reply.  Sure thing, do you want a minute or two to look at the menu, She asks with a smile.  Yep, I reply.  And off she goes bouncing around with her blond pony tail swaying from side to side.

What was up with all those questions?  Do single patrons always know automatically what they wish to order?  Oh geez, I wonder what I was suppose to say...  Well, at least I can figure out what to order before she comes back.  I want an omelet of sorts.  Nothing else really looks as fine to me at this hour.  That's what I'll say when she returns.  And I'll practice it in my head a couple times so it doesn't sound weird.  Ugh, that's weird in of itself.

I bet that grandma over there think I'm weird.  Why is that gentlemen alone, she must wonder.  She probably asks herself a lot of useless questions like that.

The cheery waitress returns with my drinks and asks the question I've already answered in my head a couple times now.  I want an omelet of sorts.  What kind of sorts, she inquires.  One with tomatoes, mushrooms, veggies, and these two cheeses.  Splendid, she says with a smile.  You also get a muffin and some breakfast potatoes.  Splendid indeed.  And off she goes to put her scribblings up in the kitchen for the minimum wage chef.

I don't normally talk that way.  In fact, can I even be sure that really just happened?  Now I don't have anything to stare at with the menu gone.  Perhaps now is the best time to finally that book I've been reading.

Scanner Darkly

I've seen the movie before.  I've owned the movie for a while now.  And have watched it several times.  But the book is incredible.  Bob Arctor is truly beside himself in ways that the movie simply did not convey.  He is paranoid and a drug addict.  He feels he's doing the right thing by working for the police and spying on his friends.  His dark dank life is injected with a little good through himself.  But Bob Arctor is also Fred.  The undercover law enforcement officer spying on Bob Arctor and his friends.  What despicable lives they have.

Bob Arctor continuously takes Substance D as a stress reliver, recreational activity, and... well, just because it's there really.  He's addicted.  And the overuse of Substance D causes his brain to split.  The two hemispheres reveal conflicting information.  One side is Bob Arctor, the depressed drug addicted loser.  The other is Fred, the crappy undercover cop who's really wasting the government's time.

Reading the book reveals the full picture of Bob Arctor and his friends.  The movie is really just excerptse from the book.  Carefully chosen and edited scenes picture perfect from the text to paint a cohesive story that leaves several details out.  Details that didn't really matter to the story, but gave more insight to Bob Arctor and his growing paranoia.

I like this book a lot.  The whole 60s/70s lingo is fun too.

This is the first book written by Philip K Dick I've read, and I plan to continue read more.  But I get the feeling they won't live up to this one.  I'm not really a big fan of Sci Fi novels.  I think Sci Fi novels focus too much on the science fiction of the environment rather than the characters...  and so forth.  I love reading about the characters and what they're thinking during events.

Here ya go, sweetie.

Excellent.  Eggs, Veggies and little breakfast potatoes.  I consume them while getting closer to the ending.  The perfect meal for this Sunday.  I get my muffin to go and say Goodbye to the lovely waitress with a handsome tip.  The sun is slightly higher in the sky and I have 30 minutes before the bus arrives.  Through the window, I see the waitress bouncing around from one table to the next.  Across the street, I see my destination.  The bus stop.

Over the road and across the parking lot to the Goerke's Corner I go.




Recent Posts
Recent Featured Posts