Sitting in Bob Evans worrying about my failing memory. I'm always thinking about the loss of those tiny moments, small conversations, quiet spaces and many non-earth shattering occurrences of my life. Where have they gone? Do they still hold residence in my brain? Behind doors closed with the locks of marijuana abuse and alcohol residues?
If someone, some mad scientist, inserted a mind probe and gently, please ever so gently, poked...would I be able to recall in vivid detail faded recollections from ...say the summer of 1974? What was I feeling, hoping for, dreading? Where was I in terms of self-awareness, self-destructiveness, self-esteem, self-development, self-reliance, self-examination, selfishness, selflessness?
I think of 1974 because I am drinking coffee out of a small ceramic breakfast mug and finishing off the remains of a $7.89 breakfast at Bob Evans and recalling the $0.99 plate breakfast at a little old Hole in the Wall off campus in Murray Kentucky, called the Hungry Bear.
I have vivid vague memories of the place, usually because I was in the throws of a magnificent hang-over. The diner was right across the street from the Sig-Ep house, of which I was a Little Sister and beyond that, a constant visitor. Not only the Sig-Eps hung out there, but everyone else including, but not limited to,....straights, freaks, GDI's, frat boys, jocks, hippies, do-gooders, Bolio's, grad students, professors, drunks, flunkies, Narc's, sorority chicks, bootleggers, Viet Nam vet's, ROTC, police, police wanna bees, drug addicts, Homecoming Queens, locals, barefoot, long hair, no hair, motor cycle riders, punks, pot heads, sweeties, jerks, hoods, car thieves, drug smugglers, artists, crazy people and their girlfriends, and those people from New Jersey.
Besides the $0.99 cent menu the biggest attraction was the mangy stuffed bear in the corner...a real bear once....Complete with teeth revealing snarl and extended arms with the four inch claws!
Before it was the Hungry Bear, it was a B-B-Q place called the Saucy Pig. Considering the clientele, the name was constantly bastardized to "The Hungry Pig" or "The Saucy Bear". More often than not it was referred to as either "The Pig" or "The Bear"...as in, "Let's go to the Pig".
We'd sit bleary eyed, eating our $0.99 cent specials, drinking our bottomless coffee and stating at that stuffed bear.
The same meal is now $7.89 at Bob Evans.
And a darn good price for 30 year old memories. Much less expensive than a brain probe from a mad scientist, more than likely an ex-customer of the Pig.