It was 6:00 p.m. when I got off the train at the newly christened Oakton stop that Sunday. The air was dry, the temperature had reached the 80s and this world-weary traveler had planned on heading back home to make sure nothing had short-circuited and to check on the dogs after spending the day in the loop.
As my feet pointed east, there was a rumbling in my stomach and I was hungrier than an armadillo on steroids. (Never mind that I have never studied animals on steroids or anything even related, but will you just allow me some poetic license?)
So before heading back home to an apartment that was hopefully still standing and dogs that had minded their manners, I decided to deposit something in my gut-wrenching gut and peruse the two-block area surrounding the new Oakton Stop.
But life, as they say, is what happens when you are making other plans.
I took some baby steps up and down the street and as far as my feet would take me. There was a pancake house that had closed two hours ago. It was too bad, too, because I was getting ready for an omelet with enough cholesterol to make the Hulk keel over. I should have known that something was amiss when the lights appeared to be off and no one was coming in or out the door. That should have been a clue that the omelet my palate had been so desiring wasn’t going to appear. The sign on the door was another. They’d already closed two hours prior at 4:00.
Of course there were other stores on the street. There was a comic book store, some clothing stores, even a dentist’s office, but I couldn’t find one open restaurant that served something my palate might like. I had my sites on a Subway but never made it there because I thought I had passed it in my state and thought maybe they had closed down (they're open, for the record, but further west from the train stop). I even passed the Kabul house because I thought they too had closed because of my advanced state.
So I went back down the street from whence I came, casting a long shadow, before coming to the Siunik Armenian Grill that was opened and serving food. I went in and placed an order before going to clean up. It was in that small lavatory that I came upon the next monkey wrench in a conversation with myself.
“Did you see any information about credit cards near the cash register?” I asked myself.
“No you did not,” I answered, “And you mainly brought credit cards and not enough cash. This is another fine jam you have landed yourself in.”
In an effort to avoid being mugged while going downtown, I brought my usual one or two (out of twenty) credit cards and one or two dollars (out of the usual three or four I keep on hand). I went out and desperately looked for a “We accept these credit cards” sign, but there wasn’t one meaning they didn’t. But they made an exception for me this time around probably because I have a face as honest as Lincoln’s only without the beard, the height and the stovetop hat and probably because the order was ready.
I took a seat, and went home to an apartment that was still standing and dogs that behaved as usual on our walk, meaning that one of them barked at every squirrel, dog and rabbit we passed. But Oakton Street still needs to have a greater variety of restaurants open on a Sunday evening, and I’m thinking of something typically American like pizza.