Mild Mornings

I knew hummingbirds could fly backwards, but that wasn’t the answer that won trivia last night.

With the rain, it’s almost like I’m still living in Chicago and not California. There are differences. Accepting that I have “midwestern values,” there’s still an unfitting: my requirement to have a bar where the bartender knows my name; my preference for fried cheese curds; my deep affection for flannel; and – this is most important – my belief that bowling, watching sports, and playing trivia are all activities.

When the Syracuse game was happening for March Madness, a friend commented that watching the game wasn’t “doing” anything. The value of rooting for a team; feeling the cohesion of cheering together; and actively engaging with the points, calls, and game as a whole is significant. To me, it’s like the value of a reader for my writing – the two rely on each other and that dependency is almost mystical, is binding and important.

Trivia, likewise, isn’t given its due. In Buffalo, in Chicago, in Milwaukee, most bars boast a trivia night. What else is the value of knowing Virginia is named for Queen Elizabeth I? Testing memory, seeing how the mundane at least makes for a good laugh about forgetting and recalling, seems like it should get more of a crowd.

Even with a small crowd, going to trivia felt warm. The group knew each other, the waitresses and bartender played – even cheered when “the house knew” and the crowd didn’t, and the MC (a British bloke)  joked about knowing American politics better than most Americans. It felt, a little, like home.

And I think I needed to stay up too late, eat and drink more than I needed, and wake up to a really mild morning where I could appreciate my coffee and start to take it a little slow after moving across the country and trying to piece together a new life.


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