ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Santa Barbara Moments

Updated on May 10, 2010

The Sweet Country Inn

When the car salesman called, I was still only half awake after another lousy night of initial insomnia. His call did not come unexpected, though, and I just delivered my little speech which I had prepared days before during a vacant moment. I didn’t say I could not afford the car, or that I did not want it; I said that I did not need it for the time being. Which was true, if not necessarily the whole truth. He did not sound disappointed, but simply asked me courteously if he could call me back every month or so. That caused me to become somewhat defensive, so I told him I did not want to raise any expectations. He sounded understanding, and I ended up relaxing more and asking him about his business, which seemed to be going well.

Then I went to the Sweet Country Inn.

Which is one of the things I truly detest about myself. Not going to the Sweet Country Restaurant, of course, I can go as often as I like. No, the fact that the little conversation between myself and the salesman caused me to feel uneasy; so uneasy that I left my apartment prematurely, before I had been doing any work at all. Sometimes, I am really a coward, afraid to have offended someone such as a car salesman who, though friendly enough, was ultimately an intruder of my privacy. So, there I was on my way to the restaurant; if it had not been for his call, I might still be half asleep; just accumulating energy for another wonderful but disturbing day in Santa Barbara.

The Sweet Country Restaurant was located right by the Sweet Country Inn. The entire establishment was accessible from State Street, the main street of Santa Barbara, where many tourists went through any time of year. Inside the restaurant, heavy green leather-look furniture and ceiling lamps over each booth were intended to create a country and western atmosphere, though in my humble opinion not a very successful attempt. I came here when I had letters to write or checks to send, but didn’t want to sit and do that kind of work at home. I worked out of my apartment, I was alone during that period, and I felt a daily need to get away and see and experience something quite different. The Sweet Country Restaurant was just one of my resorts, which I liked because the staff was kind and the food as good as anywhere else.

Whether I, myself, was and still am a tourist I cannot say for certain, since I would probably be a somewhat biased judge in the matter. Not to say an extremely biased one, since I have long ago fallen completely in love with this town of 87,000 people.


A difficult decision

“Take it or leave it,” the real estate dealer says. “Just take it or leave it; I ain’t got all day.”

“Well, I do not know,” I respond. “It’s a hard decision to make, and a big one, so you shouldn’t push me like that."

"Well,” I say while looking at my wife,” what do you think?”

But obviously, she is paralyzed, her loyalty equally divided between the real estate dealer and me. She is an extremely fair and objective person, one could say the opposite of a born liar. She doesn’t respond except through facial expressions that I can’t read, and her silence turns me off.

“Forget about it,” I tell the dealer, and then my wife and I walk to the car. “Why didn’t you say so at once?” I ask in an angry tone of voice as soon as we get inside. She looks at me, obviously feeling that I am treating her unfairly, which is probably true.

“What do you mean by that?” she says. I shrug, not knowing what to say; after all, the house was my idea, not hers, and I shouldn’t try to push her into making that decision for me. Even though it would be lovely if she had, so that I would then have someone to share the blame with in case the decision was wrong.

Believe me, saying no was hard; because that house was really a darling. Big and Victorian, situated in a quiet neighborhood, personal just the way I like it. But then again, I have tried it; two times prior to this occasion, I took her silence as encouragement, or as a provocation which made me revolt and rush into decisions from which I have not yet recovered financially.

Nobody seemed to care. Every time I entered a shop, there seemed to be somebody new; or was it me who hadn’t noticed their faces before? Was it me who imagined that I suffered, while the truth was that I contributed to the suffering of others? If I did contribute to the suffering of others by being superficial, then what did it mean, and what would it take for me in order to break through the mental wall? If not, then what would it take to simply fit in?

I pushed these thoughts away as much as I could, and much of the time I was successful. It was mostly when somebody was kind and felt near, only then to disappear again moments later, that I felt loneliness, which was perhaps not, in itself, deeper than the kind of loneliness a child can sometimes feel when abandoned for too long. But my loneliness was different, because it had been there too long; either as something which I had pushed away, or as a conscious state of mind which I would later recall when I felt the same way again. It had become so deep, I felt, that a sense of pessimism had managed to sneak its way into my heart and my soul.


Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Nellieanna profile image

    Nellieanna Hay 

    8 years ago from TEXAS

    That's so important - writing straight from the heart, not masking. I suppose there are occasions when it's well to mask, but the best, most readable and memorable writing is what comes from the heart - from the passion or pathos a person really experiences. Very good. Interesting about the pink paper. LOL. There's a nice warmth to pink.

  • Fiction Factory profile imageAUTHOR

    Fiction Factory 

    8 years ago

    Nellieanna, I thank you for this kind comment. This story was dusted off recently, part of my "pink period" back when indeed I was living in Santa Barbara typing on pink paper (don't ask me why). I noticed a lack of pretense in this piece, which made me want to revisit certain roots - the feeling of writing straight from the heart.

  • Nellieanna profile image

    Nellieanna Hay 

    8 years ago from TEXAS

    So you're a Boomer?

    I thought this hub was extemely expressive. Thanks for sharing it.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)