February 27, 2010

Sick Day

Okay, Virginia. As much fun as everything being frozen and gray and windy as hell is, I am done. I hereby declare my tolerance for winter exceeded. I get it. And I am high-tailing it to California for a week in hopes that my abandonment draws some of the shit weather west, and away from Gwynn's Island. Is a little verdancy so much to ask? I think not. This is what I have in mind:

I am sick, which is not as much fun as I remember. This is probably related to my lack of things to be shirked. With the magical free pass to shirk responsibilities rendered worthless, sickness isn't so great. There is also no one to make me soup. I made my own soup. But soup, like Coke and sandwiches and french fries, is best when it is someone else's. Even if that person can't cook at all. Colby once made me sick-soup. Chicken Noodle Soup with whole fresh cilantro leaves inexplicably floating in it. I still appreciated it, because I hadn't made it. And really, from the guy who brought us "Chunky Peanut Butter/Margarita Mix Chicken" that soup was really not so bad. I also lose all sense of taste when sick, so, you know. I hope I am well in time for my trip to DC, and then to California, because traveling is unpleasant enough while healthy. I am looking forward to ethnic foods, and coffee shops, and beer on tap. Also to seeing people. I should probably examine my priorities, shouldn't I? Sometimes I lay awake and fantasize about potstickers. There is one Chinese restaurant in the county, and it is in downtown Mathews next door to the Food Lion. It is called "Shun Xing" and it is the object of rampant speculation in the White family. For me, my fascination with the place stems from the fact that I have never seen anyone enter or exit the establishment. It is like Willy Wonka's Backwoods Chinese Chocolate Factory. I like to thing it is staffed entirely by Oompa Loompas. Either that, or that it is simply to front business to some sort of unseemly Mathews underbelly organization. I have met a person who claims to have been there, and to have ordered two different entrees and received two separate cartons containing exactly the same thing. If that doesn't sound like a front business I don't know what does. Either way, I don't want to eat there.

I suppose I really haven't talked much about downtown Mathews. When my grandparents were growing up, each in different parts of Mathews county (Mobjack and Port Haywood, respectively) Mathews courthouse was the happening place on Friday and Saturday nights. People from all over the county would catch rides with friends down to Main Street, where they would parade down the street back and forth, stopping into the soda fountain at Rexall's Drugstore or the nickelodeon in the old Halycon Building. The interesting thing about Mathews is that most of the buildings have survived, and though downtown Mathews is pretty much a ghost town on Friday and Saturday nights nowadays, the locals you run into at Rexall's Soda Fountain (newly reopened) or the Mathews Film Society at the Halycon building (newly reopened) are happy to tell you about the town's heyday. I would most like to visit Mathews in the 1930s, when my grandmother would hitch a ride with her school friend and they would head to the courthouse and join the hubbub. It is hard to imagine now, that a trip to such a little place could ever have been the social highlight of the day.

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