Thursday, 19 May 2011

Who's Your Buddy Now?

I have different protocols depending on who I am with when I go out for coffee. There are several different situations and groups of people at different times during the week, and all are handled differently.

There is a group that have met at the same Tim Horton’s every day at the same time for as far back  I can remember. With my memory the way it is, that could be saying a lot or a little. I go to see this group every now and then, not wanting to commit an hour every day for the rest of my life I just make rare appearances. There is another group that I will meet a couple of times a week at the A & W after exercise. I haven’t done the exercise for quite some time but I try not to miss the coffee because I enjoy the conversation and company. I also will go for coffee with a friend and complain about this and that. We generally go to Tim’s, but aren’t locked into it. Of course there are the “drop-ins”, friends you do a one-off with. I will also go out with Louise when I can and we can show up almost anywhere. You might be asking yourself how he can get anything done with such a gruelling schedule. The answer is pretty simple, I don’t!

I also have a secret coffee date whenever I can fit it in. Sometimes I feel that I need some “me” time and I will go to McDonalds and have their $1.46 coffee and a muffin. Personally I think that McDonalds coffee is the best of the bunch and you can’t beat the price. When I started, I would take my ipod, a good book, a notebook and all the cares of my life and let that fine Scottish restaurant sooth my jangled nerves. I suppose I am no different from everyone else, wanting some “Me” time. It is just nice to be able to let the day filter through you and come out in the proper order.

A few months ago something happened to disturb my solitary routine. There is an employee I have noticed. I am not sure what his duties are, but I have never seen him with food. He walks with a limp, is a little scruffy looking (who isn’t), tall with glasses and a simpletons smile plastered on his face. He came up to me and when I looked up he said “Where’s your buddy? Couldn’t he make it today?” Now I could have said that I am not the guy that you think I am, but instead I just told him that I wasn’t sure where he was. He told me to have a good day and went off with his broom. Hmmmm…that was odd, oh well, now where was I?

The next time that I was there, my friend once again came up to me and asked where my buddy was. What the hell? Once again I just said something like “You never can tell with him” and redirected my eyes towards my book, hoping that he would wander away and not bother me any more. He started talking about the snow for God’s sake! Well, the best way to get rid of him is to agree with everything he says and hope for the best. Of course he went away eventually and I went back to my book wondering what makes some people so thick? My next visit went pretty smoothly, and my “friend” wasn’t there so I could read my book and drink my coffee in peace. The trouble was, I kept looking for him and wondering if he was sick, because there is that bad flu going around, so I really couldn’t concentrate.

My next visit he was there but didn’t come over to talk to me as he was having a good discussion and a few laughs with a table of retired guys. Well, at least he isn't really sick. Everything is back the way it should be. We had had a light snowfall the next time I ventured out and he was shovelling the walkway around the building. I said, “Typical warm sunny Calgary weather, eh?” and he just chuckled and kept on working. He came in shortly, gave me a wave and went into the back room.

The next few times I went to McDonalds we either chatted or gave a friendly wave. I have come to look forward to seeing my friend. Still don’t know his name, but I have a strange feeling that he is the “buddy” he mentioned oh so long ago. Funny thing about that is, I am just fine with it.

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