The gears in my head were rusty and stuck together. I thought maybe going for a ride would be just the brain WD-40 I needed.
Up in the distance popped up a small roadside building. There was a sign I couldn’t make out. I pulled over to have a look-see.
It was a simple shack of a place, painted in various shades of graffiti. Reds, blues, greens, yellows. As if a rainbow had vomited.
In the front of the shack was an opening like you’d expect from a roadside fruit stand. But this wasn’t a fruit stand. I pulled alongside the window. No one was inside.
There was a hand-painted sign over the window of the shack.
“Welcome to Kazulo’s Krazy Yet World-Famous Kountry Kitchen.”
Then in smaller letters below:
“Menu: Pomegranate Fries. Pea Dunk Soup. Chortle Berry Stew.”
Next to the building was a guy wearing a big straw hat and a knotty brown beard, sitting in a folding chair. He was facing the sun, eyes closed, relaxed.
“Excuse me,” I said, keeping the engine running.
The man’s left eye squinted open then he turned his head to me.
“Is this place open?”
“Yes. No. Not really.”
“What do you mean, not really?”
“It is but it isn’t. All depends.”
“Depends on what?”
“Whether you’re just stopping by or if you are, you know, stopping in.”
“I don’t get it.”
With some effort, the man lifted himself from the chair and walked over to my side of the car and leaned on the top of the door.
“If you’re stopping in, then we’re closed. We don’t have Pomegranate Fries or Pea Dunk Soup or Chortle Berry Stew.”
“Must really be world famous if you’re all out.”
“There’s no food here.”
I looked at the sign and then at the man.
“You don’t have food here.”
“So why is this place world famous?”
“It’s a place to stop by, then be on your way. We’re open, if you want to stop by.”
“Oh so you must be the owner.”
“Today I am. Maybe not tomorrow.”
“I don’t follow.”
The guy shook his head slowly.
“You don’t have to follow. There’s nothing to follow. This is a place to be. First one who shows up gets the chair. You sit in the chair and you just, be.”
“So what’s with the sign?”
The man looked up thoughtfully.
“Would you have stopped if there was no sign?”
“No, probably not.”
“Exactly.You stopped by because we’re open.” He sauntered back to the chair and reclaimed his spot.
I drove off, shaking my head, pondering the insanity of it all, yet wondering how early I would have to arrive to claim the chair.
Then I made a mental note to bring a lunch.