Saturday I went out with a friend for lunch. The lunch sent me and my intestines to hell and I’m still there. The first time I ate in this restaurant, the same thing happened. Now I know it’s cause and effect. I should have been prudent and said, “That place made me sick last time I ate there,” but I didn’t.

My planned hike today with friends isn’t going to happen and I expect to spend the morning, anyway, here on the sofa with John Hersey. Seems like the prudent choice…

As for hiking…

A long time ago I wanted to be a boy scout because the Boy Scout Handbook was full of useful stuff like how to treat snake bite and how to tell your friends which way you went on a trail through the use of ducks. Ducks are rocks piled in such a way that they show direction. In my hikes here I’ve seen cairns, but no ducks. I don’t think everyone knows about ducks, but cairns are obvious.

While I feel the rocks should be left in place, and piles should be reserved for meaningful messages, there’s a common belief that it’s good luck to add a rock to a cairn. People are reassured knowing people have been there (are there). I suppose they are a kind of “Trail Confidence Marker.”

I wish that life had these markers. That would make more sense. Life is vague and the decisions are inscrutable. It would be nice when confronted with a life-changing decision to happen upon a “Trail Confidence Marker.” Then we could say, “Oh, OK, cool, this is the trail that takes me where I want to go. I’m here on the map.”

The problem is we don’t always know where we want to go and there is no map.

Obviously, in this house, anyway, physical problems lead to existential questions. 🙂

In other news, it’s supposed to snow.


12 thoughts on “Hindsight

  1. Oh man, I hope you never again follow ducks, cairns, trail markers, or anything else that points you anywhere near the vicinity of that restaurant. Terrible! I hope you feel better soon, if only so you can stop navel gazing silly existential questions 😉

    • Right? I’ve made it public in my little friend circle so I don’t think that restaurant will be mentioned as a future destination. Down here, anyway, green chili is the best thing on any menu… Not spurious Vietnamese food.

      • Oh my GOD do my wife and I love Vietnamese food! In fact, I proposed to her in our favorite Viet place, in NYC. I’ve posted a couple of pics in my previous entries of some of their dishes that I’ve made at home.

        So it’s very distressing to find that a cuisine I hold in such high regard may have almost killed a blogger I hold equally dear! Nooooooooooo!!!

  2. I can sympathise with you. There are certain things that I avoid eating, but I am to blame for it all as I very rarely go anywhere for a meal and cook it all myself. I am wary of restaurant food and how it is prepared.

  3. I think that’s what things like graduation is about. It’s a marker, but what does it mark?

    You probably weren’t sure first time you ate in that restaurant that it was what made you sick. NOW you know.

    I think my dog ate a toad. Or tried.

    • Maybe she ate Chinese food…

      I think there are markers of accomplishment. “Good job, kid, you’ve finished public school” but in another sense they mean, “Ha ha you’re on your own now!”

      We’re so deluded most and/or all the time. I remember a really bright kid I was teaching in a low level English class who was JUBILANT that he knocked up his girlfriend (he was 18) and was going to be a dad and he dropped out of school. And I’m saying, “Now you should REALLY stay in school!” He thought being a dad was a marker meaning he was a grown up.

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