Mistaken identify but milkshakes are real


I think this is Aunt Grace’s old house. But I’m not positive. We drove by it one night.

Trying not to overdue myself eating out for every meal, so today, I walked from my motel down to a convenience store where the workers were laughing and friendly with the customers. I purchased an egg salad sandwich made with white bread. I haven’t had white sliced bread for years, but I felt I had arrived inside old America. It’s not what you indulge in once in awhile that hurts you, but your daily habits. So white bread…you’re not so bad, for today.

But speaking of what hurts you if you eat it often, is this:  just now, I walked to Denny’s where I ate dinner last night, and for lunch today, it was a chocolate milk shake. Yum! The motel has wifi that must be paid for, so a few steps away, inside Denny’s….it’s free!

Why does a motel charge for wifi? I don’t understand that. Nearly everywhere I went even in third world countries, wifi is free. But, wifi with a chocolate milk shake teams up nicely.

Being in San Jose reminds me of my great Aunt Grace. She was my grandmother’s sister and I visited her one time at age 18. I traveled with a friend and her grandfather from Pasadena as far as a prison. I think now it may have been Soledad Prison. We were part of my friends’ grandfathers religious program for prisoners. We sat on the podium with him while he preached.

Then, from there, they dropped me off in San Jose, where all I had was an address of Aunt Grace. Back then, you could call the transportation company and ask what trams/buses would take you to your destination. So I found a pay phone  (remember those?) and got the correct route. The next thing I remember is staying with her in a house on South Third. She rented a room out to a man, who took me to a movie one night. I wore a red coat. Three days later Aunt Grace didn’t want me to leave, she wanted me to stay and so did the man. In fact the man wanted to marry me.  He was in his forties.

I left there and by bus went to San Francisco alone. It took my breath away when the bus turned the corner into San Francisco. I had very little money. But when I got out of the bus, I  wanted to see China Town. I asked a policeman how to get there and he pointed up the hill. Having little money has never thwarted me that much, so I looked for a souvenir I could afford. I bought a pencil with a bobbing head. It was about ten cents.

Then my plan would be to fly back to Pasadena, where I was attending school. I had saved up earlier for a one way ticket. My recollection in sketchy here, but I know I traveled by bus and sat next to a nice woman.  I told her that my father was a doctor and my mother a policewoman. She didn’t ask me why I didn’t have any money when I learned that the bus didn’t go all the way to the airport. She said she would be taking a taxi anyway and would be delighted if I joined her.

My telling her about my parents was an experiment I dreamed of doing and that was to make up an identity and give it to a stranger just for fun. I don’t think she bought it. I’ve never tried that again.









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