Monday, March 9, 2015

Earlier this evening I found myself waiting at In-N-Out for a questionable amount of time for my order.
When around ten minutes slugged on, an elderly man asked to sit at the empty bench beside me.

"You better not tell my wife I'm sitting next to you, one look at your face and I'd be done for!"
I laughed.
"No worries. Your secret is safe with me."

He was wearing a rather bundled up outfit, along with a worn out fedora.
I always say for jokes how much I dislike it when men wear fedoras, but I have to admit, he looked so charming.
He went on to explain how he enjoys waiting and never really minded it, because he always carries a book with him.
He was gentle, with his speech volume and choice of words.
When I turned my head to respond to him, I noticed a hearing aid stuck on his ear.

"This thing is great but pretty irritating in these situations."
"Oh, why is that so?"
"You see, I have to turn the sensitivity level pretty high in this room because that man with the red cap is yelling out numbers, and I don't want to miss MY number. But, in the process of waiting for this man to call out my number, I hear everything around me, and I have to say that man behind us has not stopped complaining for a while now and I hear every bit! I mean, why have so much anger waiting for a burger!"

We laughed.
He showed me his vintage bookmark.
We talked about the concept of patience.
He said his wife is beautiful.
He smiled with his teeth a bunch.
Then the man with the red cap came out of the counter and personally handed him his order.
I helped him up from the bench.
He tipped his fedora and gave me a wink.
We shook hands and said goodbye.
Soon after, my order came out.

The conversation wasn't life changing, or revolutionary.
But sometimes you realize the absence of genuine conversation in your life after ending one.

Out for now,
Janis

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