Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Underground Man Visits The Oliveo Grill

I am not normal.

It took me a long time to come to realize that.

My friends get angry with me when I do things that are not normal.  When I do not have normal reactions to things.

When my friends tell me what's wrong with me I just shrug at them.  When they offer solutions to my problems, I just shrug again.

I have built up an impressive upper torso from all this shrugging.

I say again to my friend,  "I am not normal."

We are eating.  We are seated at one of the few places open at 2 am that serves gyros.

I've tried eating at this place a few times.  I eat way too many gyros. I eat out too much at Mediterranean food places.

Each time I visit the cafe I try the gyro combo meal.  Each time the gyro meat is dry.  I hate when my gyro meat is dry.

The gyro does come with cucumbers and a decent sauce.  The veggies are good.  I like their cucumbers.  I like the their tomatoes.  I don't normally eat tomatoes, except in chicken gyros.

"Chicken gyros must have tiny diced tomatoes."  I tell my friend.

Overall the gyro is edible.

The best thing about the cafe is that it is open very late.  3 am.  The next best thing about the cafe is the staff.  All very pleasant and quite helpful.  I have a crush on the blond working the cash register.  I don't think she knows.  I am certain she does not remember me. 

I think one reason my friend gets angry with me when we discuss life and philosophy is that I don't share his motivations.  When I tell him I don't have any reason to do anything he suggests  motivations to live by.

He believes his motivations are rational, but I beg off.  I am not affected by the rational.  That is not to say I am irrational.  I can see the logic they offer.

What is it they think I don't understand?

I am the underground man.

I am a patient man.  I don't know a lot of people who could stand to be lectured by my friend.  The guy talking to me.

I don't let the fact that the logic comes from a man standing over a table full of dirty dishes bother me.  I do not allow the fact that the logic only pours out of this fellow when he is high on Marijuana.  I don't let that fact alter my reception of his logic at all.

I tell him, "I think your logic may be reasonable.  But it is still not compelling to me."

When I tell him this I am drinking ice tea through a straw from a styrofoam  cup.

The ice tea is brewed.   The iced tea is passion fruit flavored.

If you want to know anything about me you need to know that brewed tea is important to me.  I can't stand drinking that imitation tea that flows out of the soda fountain.

The cafe crowd is full of ASU students.  Lots of cute girls.  If you like that sort of thing.  Which I do.

Strange thing about the girls.  Every one of them had a touchscreen cell phone.  They all look like they 'are using MyTouch's from T-Mobile.  They look like they are using the latest Google Android Phone The Nexus One.

Maybe they were Sprint's Hero.  I can't be sure my memory is correct.  I am sure none of the phones were Motorola Droids.  Nothing square or industrial looking in the bunch.

All I can say for sure is that my Env3 sitting on the table next to a bunch of rolled up napkins was jealous of the round lines, brushed silver effects, and vibrant touch screens I saw.

No one in the cafe is talking except me and my friend.  All the girls are too busy texting to enjoy their food.  Everyone is strangely mannered like in a Science Fiction movie.  The ASU girls pick at their Greek salads with plastic forks in unison.  No one talks to their dinner mates.  Maybe ASU people only text each other now.

There are two flat screen TV's in the cafe.  Only one of them is turned on.  Somebody turned on the captions, so you could read what is being said.  Glenn Beck.  He is interviewing a very pretty looking soccer mom.

She seems as confused by Glenn Beck as my friend is about me.

The french fries in this place are quite poor tasting.  They are shoes string french fries with curly fry seasoning.  I dislike that kind of seasoning, though if you like that seasoning, I suppose you may like the  fries enough to give them a pass.

"I am the Underground Man."  I tell my friend.

I think this is all I should have to say.

I tell him, "I think this explains why I believe in inertia." 

My friend looks at the bill.

"For the quality I think it's a bit much."  He says.

"We should really only come here for The 6.44 lunch special."  He adds.

I tell him that the late night $5.00 fries and gyro deal isn't too bad.

"But I have to have a drink and feta cheese on my gyro, so the bill is going to be bigger."

My friends asks me what I am waiting for. 

I pay my bill.  $8.44 for a gyro with feta, fries, and drink.

"I am the underground man."  I tell my friend again.   "And what I await is my first act of tyranny."

"I did get a coupon for a free gyro that could be used next month."  My friend says.

"They give them out to everyone."  I give a smile to the girl at the counter with the coupons.

"I think Oliveo's allows the meat to sit out too long and get dried."  My friend whispers to me as he gets up.

"But I will be back again to give them another try."  I snap the coupon with a flick of my finger and place the card into my wallet.

We both walk out the door into ample parking.

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