Over the years when the hunger pangs need satisfaction and time allows, I’ll park myself in the corner of the usually empty bar portion of the family restaurant and empty my ink cartridge onto my trusty yellow legal pad of paper.
“The egg white omelet – one extra egg white – coffee with cream – no bread, today?” they all ask in a close variation.
“Yes please,” I nod kindly, often peeking over the top of my readers.
I know a little bit about all of them. The one young man in around his mid to late twenties, the one with the well groomed short dark hair and goatee, is going through a divorce… His wife dropped that bomb on him.
The front man who is about six foot two, two hundred and thirty pounds, shaved head, and seats folks, looks more like a bouncer in a nightclub. His wife works there too and they moved to Arizona from Chicago to care for his dad that passed a few years back.
The gal I’ll call “M” is from Columbia. She’s worked hard so her only son could have more, even paid for his college… till he dropped out. Just goes to show kids are kids regardless of their roots. That broke “M’s” heart. You can see it in her kind root beer colored eyes.
The manager is my age and she runs that location of the restaurant chain like it was her very own. Everyone that comes through the door is treated like someone near and dear to their hearts.
Each new day brings the folks through the door that regardless of how well they get treated, they’re gonna bring the hammer down on someone’s day… and usually the ones serving them. I sometimes hear the mean customers treating the help worse than they would bread crumbs.
I recognize all of it… it’s conflict. The thing from which great stories are hatched. Along with a simple narrative from an unpublished wannabe writer.
The host that looks more like a thug from the mean streets of Chicago, despite the conflict in a day and in his life, talked me into trying the new spicy omelet that turned out to taste more like fire than food. His brown eyes twinkled in amusement, “That’ll clean out your sinuses,” he chuckled. I just nodded in agreement, wiping my watering eyes.
“You write books?” he asked me not too long ago. I uncharacteristically hesitated before answering him.
“Uh… yeah… I write books,” I answered with reservation, but quickly added, “But I’m not published. I’m workin’ on it.”
We all have a story and we all have passions dreams and desires. The tragedy isn’t in not getting what we want. The tragedy is letting the day to day conflicts that all of us have regardless of what we do, steal the God given fire in our souls to pursue the passions, dreams, and desires that He placed inside of us.
Conflict is like the bridge washed out ahead. It just takes a little more time to get to where we’re going. And there are gems to be found in the journey of a detour… and in the setting of an egg white omelet.