PEANUT BUTTER

Wow, flashbacks
can be really wild…a smell or a fleeting image can take us from wherever and whenever to someplace else and some other time. Whoosh!… like falling through a wormhole in space or something Star Trek-like. As mesmerizing as magic.

This morning, for example, while engaged in the simple act of spreading peanut butter on bread, my brain zoomed back to standing in a hotel room in a sleazier downtown section of San Francisco called the Tenderloin in my first week after having hitchhiked there at age 19. Peanut butter on bread was all I could afford being nearly broke, and in that room surrounded by cockroaches… believe it or not without knowing what they were, although I did have my suspicions. I was just killing them off as fast as I could chew, whatever they were. Doing all I could do to protect my precious provisions.

Aside from the entomological threat, I had considerable concern about the rundown ‘residential’ hotel where I’d landed. It was full of ‘riff raff’ of one kind or another too, and I kept expecting to be accosted in the hall or have someone knocking down my door at any minute.  Let’s just say there was tension in the air. Standing there with my simple meal and no plans or prospects, wondering where this trip would lead me, and would I ever amount to anything. Remember, I had recently left college after only 1 year (doing well, by the way, but fed up with being in school and what I perceived as the rat race at that time).  As it would turn out I did.  Amount to something, that is. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.  And I became an expert hunter of cockroaches in the process.

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