I’ve written about my brother before; he’s an author and he’s written two books about Moxie. He’s a hard-working writer (among other things) and although he has been known to say he is “toiling away in obscurity” he did have a book signing in Rockland, Maine, on Saturday night. Rockland is an interesting destination; on two different occasions in my life I have had reasons to go there on a regular basis, but things changed and I knew if I went to the book signing, I’d be just another person with an out-of-state license plate pushing the pedal northward on Route 1.
I didn’t intend to go alone, either. One of the other hard-working men I know had to work; making hay while the sun was shining, sort of. He couldn’t road trip; I understood. So I gassed up the Jeep at the Extra Mart and got a beverage at the big box store of New England coffee. You wouldn’t think three teenagers could ruin a cup of iced coffee, but they did. It was the worst cup of iced coffee I’d ever had. Things weren’t starting out well.
I got sidetracked one more time before I got out of town. It was something that made me sad and I’ll blog about it one of these days. This story isn’t about that distraction, though; let’s just say thunderstorms were threatening and a few sprinkles hit the windshield like the big sad tears that kept welling up in my eyes.
Once in a while, I would let these tears roll down my cheeks. It seemed like I cried all the way to Woolwich (boo hoo), then to the turn off for Boo-hoo-ooth-bay, in Wiscasset (sniff, sniff), and maybe as far as Nobleboro (whaaa). By the time I got to Moody’s Diner, my nose was running and I had to pull out a few tissues and make repairs. I parked next to a two-tone lemon yellow ’56 Chevy and this seemed like a sign that the evening’s mood was going to change.
There was a line to get a booth, but it was just me, so I marched on up to the counter and sat down on a vacant stool between some local folks. I have found that when I have to eat alone, it’s always best to sally forward confidently and act like you belong, even if you’re wearing fancy pants and Palm Beach sandals in the land of jeans and work boots.
The diner was humming and I was feeling better looking at the pie menu. Did I want just pie and coffee or did I want some kind of meal? I opted for a cup of clam chowder to start; that seemed right. I busied myself scribbling on my napkin and observing people. There were a lot of pie options and I needed time to think. Then, right on cue, a tourist came in wearing a tropical print shirt, sat down at the counter and ordered a Moxie. A lone traveler, he made a big “to do” about ordering it. I decided to play along and said “excuse me, would you mind if I took a picture of you pouring your Moxie?” I took his picture, told him about the book signing, and we chatted a bit. He was from California.
My pie options were 4-berry, strawberry rhubarb, blueberry, apple, lemon meringue, walnut, custard, banana cream, chocolate cream, coconut cream, and peanut butter cream. 4-berry is my favorite and I didn’t want to step out of my comfort zone. I ordered it a la mode.
While I had been eating my dinner with my back to the windows, it had started to rain again. I noticed this when I paid my bill and left. The rain had scattered all the fair weather travelers off the road and I had Route 1 to myself. I was alone with my thoughts again, but it’s just a skip through Warren and Thomaston to Rockland.
I was glad to see my brother and his wife and we kicked around Rockland a little bit after the book signing. We said our good byes and then I headed south into the darkness of Route 1, alone with my warm thoughts of Moxie and Moody’s Diner. No more tears.
It’s Monday and I’m back at the Coop, shoveling it for the Big Corporation. I hope I scratched enough material onto that napkin for a whole week of blog posts. It’s not so bad to have dinner alone at Moody’s Diner on a Saturday night; there is always pie and Moxie and the good people of Maine to keep you company. Even in my fancy pants and Palm Beach sandals, I am one of them. Ayuh.
No need for tears.
Where did you eat dinner Saturday night?