It was Sunday, back in 1969 and Teresa our youngest daughter wanted to go Original Joe’s, for many years our favorite restaurant in downtown San Jose. I did not want to drive through the terrible traffic jams they have down there. I said “No!”
The actual truth is, I have a hard time saying no to her and the next thing I found myself doing, was looking for a parking place downtown. I stopped and the family jumped out and they were on their way inside before I could park the car.
I circled the block three times before I gave up and decided to pull into a parking lot. I had to pay. It seems like there’s always somebody out there trying to get their hands into my wallet.
As I walked down the sidewalk trying to catch up, I looked across the street near the kitchen door and saw that Great American Symbol, two beat up garbage cans outside the kitchen door. I saw an older woman in a ragged overcoat slowly walking down the street. She was using a broken broom handle for a cane and she stopped and started digging into the garbage cans and started eating things that she found.
Suddenly a chunk of molten lava located itself in the place where my stomach used to be. My family was shouting at me to hurry. I didn’t want to hurry, I didn’t want to be there at all anymore. I wanted to be somewhere else, away from this ugliness.
I joined them inside but now I wasn’t hungry! A large, mountain of unspoken emotions had built up inside me. None of those thoughts and feelings made me feel any better. There was that bitter taste on my tongue.
It had a name.
It was called:
There Is Nothing You Can Do About It.