Settling sometimes pays dividends

Work took me to Rio Rancho on Friday night, and gave me a rare Saturday off in the Albuquerque area. It also let me know the Rolling Stones were onto something.

I wanted to use my free Saturday to attend the New Mexico State Fair, but the mile-long line of cars leading to the Louisiana exit of I-40 convinced me otherwise.

I wasn't quite ready to give up and go home, because I knew I'd figure out something I missed doing 50 miles down the road. The plans took me further down the road, where I decided to just hit a coffee shop I liked and use free Wifi to pass the time.

I drove to where I remembered the coffee shop, but I was unaware my memory was terrible. About 15 minutes later, I'd given up on the coffee shop I wanted, and simply settled for the first one on Central with a good parking spot.

Every coffee shop has the perfect chair. It fits your body right, has plenty of elbow room and lets you see the entire shop while giving you privacy. I found the chair, but some other guy beat me to it.

I settled for a seat in the outdoor patio. It didn't fit, and the only discernible view was of the small Guild Cinema theater across the street.

But wait. Guild Cinema is playing "Sleepwalk With Me," an independent film from standup comedian Mike Birbiglia.

"Sleepwalk With Me" was about Birbiglia's struggles with a family and girlfriend pressuring him into marriage, a floundering standup career and a disorder that caused him to act out his dreams — often to hilarious and dangerous results.

I'd been following Birbiglia since his debut album in 2006, and met him the following August when he played a free show for Eastern New Mexico University's freshman orientation. I knew of the film and wanted to see it, but resigned myself to a DVD release because … what are the odds I'd find a theater playing it?

Answer: Pretty good, provided I gave up on the state fair I wanted to attend, gave up on the coffee shop I wanted to visit and gave up on the comfy chair I wanted to sit at. Any other step, I don't see the marquee at 3:40 p.m., advertising a 4 p.m. showing.

Fast-forward two hours: I'm on my way home, satisfied with my Albuquerque visit. I'm enjoying the experience of not only the movie, but the circumstances disguised as misfortune that led me to the Guild Cinema in the first place.

I listened to a baseball game on the way home, but a Stones song never left my head. "You can't always get what you want/ You can't always get what you want/ You can't always get what you want/ But if you try sometimes, well you just mind find/ You get what you need."

Hey Mike, great movie. Hey Mick, sometimes you don't even know you're trying.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Clovis Media Inc. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by email:

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