Just Like That Waldo Guy

The bartender is friendly and the kind of man who pays attention to his patrons.

He has seen me a few times, but usually only when I come in to pick up the food I ordered.

This time I am there because it is walking distance from home and I am not sure if food is on my mind.

“If you want to eat and watch the game you’re welcome to eat here.”

“Maybe, later. What do you have on tap?”

I grunt at the second or third and seconds later he presents me with my beer.”

I don’t pound it all, but I finish most in a giant gulp, close my eyes and exhale.

“Long week?”

“Maxwell has been using that giant hammer on my head.”

“Something is one my favorite love songs”

I smile and nod my head, mine too.

Just Like That Waldo Guy

The place is mostly empty and he continues to engage me in conversation.

Two or three beers have made me amenable to small talk so I share how I got to be here and he asks me what it is like to be alone in a new city.

“You must feel just like that Waldo guy, the one that everyone is looking for.”

I shake my head and tell him most of the time I am fine on my own. “I like people, but I don’t need to spend large amounts of time in a crowd.”

“You know what makes me nervous sometimes, I wonder what would happen if I got seriously hurt or had something happen.”

He nods his head and I surprise myself by telling him about slipping on the stairs and dislocating my finger.

But what really shocks me is I tell him about how I felt seriously off and couldn’t figure out what was going on.

“Man, I could have dropped dead and no one would have found me for a while. If something nasty was going on it would be up to me to call an ambulance and manage my own care, assuming I could communicate.”

“Do you have any friends or neighbors you could ask for help? Maybe one of the girls you used to date.”

I laugh and say that song about all my Exes living in Texas being just a song and decide I have talked as much as I want to.

Later on I’ll wonder if that felt like an awkward hard stop to him and shrug my shoulders. It might have been, but it is natural for me to jump from subject to subject and then just be done.

Friends & Friendship

The children tell me they are concerned about starting over in Texas and we another talk about friends and friendship.

“Some of my closest and best friends have been a part of my life for more than 40 years and some for around 14 or 15.

Some I talk to often and some rarely.  I don’t like that, but it is how life works sometimes. The thing I notice is most isn’t the length of time, but those who are friends outside of time. I just know that they’ll always be a part of my life and mine theirs. It just is.”

I tell them I want that kind of friendship for them and hope they don’t feel like Piglet all the time, occasionally is ok and natural.

They are old enough to understand what I am saying and what I mean but haven’t had enough life experience to really appreciate it.

Not yet, but that moment is coming sooner than I realize and maybe sooner than I want.

****

Midway through recollecting the moment I hear You Never Give Me Your Money and get lost in in the lyrics.

One sweet dream might have come true today, maybe even for me which is hard to believe considering Maxwell’s hammer upon my head.

So I focus on other people, faces and places moving through the rest of Abbey Road, it is definitely one of my favorite albums.

Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight and The End feel ridiculously familiar and almost prophetic, if not prescient.

“And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love
You make”

Amen.

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