I know it might sound a little silly. Saying goodbye to a cafe. And for those who don’t know me and my boy I could understand that confusion. But for us, it was literally the only place anywhere that we could actually eat something. Because of our intolerances and allergies and my stupid health, it was impossible finding anywhere that met all of our requirements.
Till we found The Real Food Kitchen.
When we first found it was called the Paleo Cafe. Around that time we had basically switched to paleo (for lack of a better word) and I’d given up ever finding anywhere where we could ever eat out again. It had already been 5 years since the last time we had. And I was thoroughly sick and tired of having to cook I can tell you.
After driving past several times I finally psyched myself up enough to go it. I was with my boy the first time we went. Of course me being the giant chicken that I am with trying anything new and always scared to because of one reaction or illness after another, I thought I’d try the coffee first. Other than remembering the feel of a burnt tongue the memory that stuck with me was the look on my sons face when he was brought out his drink. A giant iced chocolate. His eyes grew 10 times the size including his smile and that drink lasted all of 10 seconds too and was gone in a slurp of the straw.
The chocolate brownie didn’t last long either.
Our visits there became more frequent. Usually on a Thursday when I had my support worker with us. At first it was just because I wanted my son to be able to know there was a nice place for us. Then it became about the coffee for me. For a long time that’s all I had there, The first thing I had to eat was the brownie. Warmed up with whipped coconut creme. It was just like eating a hot chocolate cake! Of course I went back for more. And oh my goodness the chocolate caramel brownie cake!
Over the past few years it wasn that cafe that became my place to escape to when things were bad at home or I needed to have time to myself. It was my son’s and my special place. And we got attached to the people there. It might not have been the most quiet of places. Many times a screaming kid drove me out or had me scrambling for my head phones. But I knew that it was a safe place for me. It was my spot.
I spent many Saturday or Sundays when my boy was at his dad’s, sitting at my favourite table with my coffee and sweet potato chips, watching the world go by, feeling the breeze and smelling the salt from the beach just down the road. In summer when it was so hot it could melt concrete, the breeze from the ocean, and the over hanging trees were a welcome escape. It was my spot. It was my son’s and my spot.
I don’t think anyone will ever understand how special that was to us.
Being autistic its so important for us to have our safe places. Our bolt holes. For me it’s supposed to be home. But most of the time thats not the case. The amount of times I went out when I was in so much pain either physically or emotionally, just to go to my special place, exposing myself to more overload and more than likely more pain when I should have stayed at home, I’ve lost count. It was my routine for the last 3 1/2 years.
I’ve been bracing myself for over a year now since the boys at the cafe first told me of their plans to sell. But as the months went by I pretended that everything was ok and that they’d always be there. They just had to be. Now I completely understand why they needed to, if I think logically. The boys have been through such a hard time trying to keep things running. But the way the world works……..
Unfortunately being autistic I also react emotionally to change. I don’t cope with it well.
I’m not coping well now. I’ve spent the rest of today, their last day, editing a video of how special that place was to me. My boy was quite upset today at having to miss out on the last day as he was with his dad.
It was just me alone today.
I don’t know if that was a good thing or not. Maybe it was. I know the kaleidoscope of emotions I’m going through will take some weeks to process as I’ve spent the time leading up to this day trying to be strong for my boy. Trying to be positive that will be other places that we can go to. Even though inside the both of us are skeptical about it and pessimistic.
I am grateful though to have the sense memory that I have. I will always remember the smell of the coffee. Always remember taking that first sip, that first smell that went straight to my brain and woke me up. The first sip I could feel opening up the blood vessels in my neck and up into my head and would ease the headaches or neck pain I get. I always knew by smell who made the coffee, and I’m pretty sure the new guys would always dread me coming and rating I’d give them hahaha.
We were spoilt too much there so its even harder to let it go.
It was our spot.
It was my spot.
We’ll miss you guys. Thanks so much for looking after us. I hope the next stage in your adventure brings you much happiness.