Things have been kind of big and heavy lately (there were no better words for me to use there) so I haven’t been blogging as much as I’d like to be.
However, last night I had a dining experience that I need to share with you. It was, in a word, surreal.
In a more specific word? It was Lynchian.
Okay, so yesterday I wanted noodles to eat. Since having Covid, I haven’t been hungry for any foods at all ever, so me having a craving should be acted on, right?
So we went in search of a noodle shop!
The first place we tried was packed with some sort of gaming convention with no seats to be had. It was kind of overwhelming in the small space, so we yeeted our neurodivergent brains outta there and looked for another noodle shop!
In our google search, I was reminded of this place a lady that we shared a table with at a soul food restaurant recommended to us, so we headed there.
And could not find parking. So we didn’t eat there either.
Instead, we decided to put old school adventuring rules into play – we drive the back roads and if we find something that looks neat, that’s where we’ll eat.
We found a neat place.
I didn’t take any pics on the inside, because, if I’m being honest, it felt very wrong to have electronics out inside the space, so I put my phone and my purse and just took it all in.
So first, off, walking into this place was like walking into someone’s living room.
There was a baby in a jumper, happily bouncing to greet anyone that opened the door. It’s mom was jauntily playing ragtime on an upright piano in the corner.
Of course, there was some awkwardness as every single person looked at us when we opened the door and tried to figure out how to navigate this new world.
“What can we help you with?” One of them asked.
I looked around at all the jars filled with herbs and other things, still unsure how this was actually a place to eat and said, “We’re just here to eat!”
And then they gestured us to one of two mismatched tables and we sat down.
The other table was filled with three women who we later learned were cousins who were reconnecting. They had so much love and energy, it was a lot of fun to watch them interact with each other and the world around them.
The menus were vegan and simple. I ordered a Garlic Ginger stir fry with a hibiscus ginger tea. I love the bite, okay? Mickey continued the bitey fun with an NA ginger beer and a lemon coconut stir fry. I forget the flavor exactly, but there was coconut involved.
The food was yummy, but also, the food was not really important.
Before our meal a woman (who I believe was separate from the ragtime piano playing lady when we walked in) approached our table and asked if we’d like a New Year’s Song.
I, of course, said, “Hell Yes.”
She then stood there and sang a gorgeous song, unaccompanied. Just stood there, singing.
When her song came to a close, the entire place (there were less than 10 of us, staff and customers included) erupted in applause. The singer told us her name and one of the ladies eating at the other table asked her to repeat it.
The singer did. Then the lady closed her eyes, put her hand on her chest and said, “That’s my mom’s name.”
I dunno, it was a really special quiet moment.
THEN! The singer lady said, “I’m gonna go get my harp. I can’t just sit around and do nothing.”
And set up a harp behind us and started playing and singing. It was ethereal and magical and now I want to teach myself the harp so I can play “The White Lotus” theme. I already have the singing part down.
However, I am still pretty timid and shy and awkward with strangers, so when the harp lady asked if anyone wanted to give playing her harp a try, I did not speak up.
One of the ladies at the other table did, however.
She sat behind the small harp and ran her fingers up and down the strings and it sounded incredible. Even better, though, she seemed delighted.
Inside, the light was dim and every flat space was covered with art. Even the ceilings were painted!
Another important point I think I should mention is that there was active construction going on the entire time we were there.
They warned us ahead of time, so I was prepared for some banging and bumping, but they were full on constructioning – I heard bangs and bumps, yes, but I also heard the whirrs of saws and stuff.
Or at least, that’s what I assumed. I couldn’t actually see any of the active construction.
I don’t feel like I am doing the surrealness of this place justice, so I will leave you with one final thing.
After our meals were finished – we crushed ’em!
Oh shit, that’s another thing. Of the three other ladies who were eating in this surreal space at the same time we were, two of them needed to go boxes.
The third did not and the waiter congratulated her for finishing – “You crushed it!” he told her.
It delighted me a lot. So I was thrilled when I crushed it as well.
I had a good view of the bar from my seat and, as I finished my meal, I watched this same “crushed it!” fella meticulously roll a joint. Like, he must have been an artist.
When he was done, he bopped over to our table, “I’m about to go on my break, do y’all wanna check out first?”
And when we went outside to leave, “crushed it” guy was outside in front, puffing on that perfect joint.
It was Lynchian and surreal and just wow. Not a thing I was expecting on a Sunday night noodle unt.