I am grateful for the days when I need to kick my lazy ass out of my house and get out into the world. It's a direct effect of choosing work that involves travel and lots of different people. The balance of that is often for me to stay inside and be by myself. And then if I have enough time off it turns into a nasty habit that keeps me from being anywhere near productive.
So today I took my 'Artist's Way' into a coffee shop in town and grabbed myself a nice icy drink and a cookie (oh so healthy I know) and started reading. I always look around to see who is in the shop because coffee shops can be curious places. And this one is like a chain shop. It's Tim Horton's, the equivalent in the states would be kin to maybe a Dunkin' Donuts or something. Anyway. I find a table along the wall with no one beside it and a good view of the whole shop. In walks a very smiley guy, which I am immediately attracted to (in the 'hey another happy person kind of way') because there isn't anyone else in there (except for me of course) with quite as sunny a disposition.
A guy already in the shop switches to the table next to me, the smiley man comes and joins him and no sooner after that a charming 80 year old man takes a seat and the conversations begin. I was concentrating on my book until they asked if they were interrupting me... :)
At which point I decided to partake in their conversation. Listening to the old man rehash his many places of residence from Italy to Canada to Florida where he looked like a sweating hose 24/7, to New Jersey where he worked for a very wealthy Jewish man and then his return to Canada because he hated the traffic in New Jersey in 1969 already.
They proceeded to give me bits of advice on life, telling me to enjoy my youth, that I have too many years than I will know what to do with ahead of me and to find the right guy to make a life with. Charming words when they come from a place of experience.
I let them continue on with their conversation, randomly re-engaging me every so often to ask me a question or give me some more wisdom. And I looked at them and smiled. The old man left and immediately his seat was replaced with another man, not nearly as old and most definitely less enthusiastic about the triumphs of life. His conversations thrived on the injustices and illegalities of our government system and immigrants. "WTF just happened?" And I realized two things in this time at the coffee shop. First I realized that I love and find fullness in the simplicity of reminiscing in other peoples stories. They inspire me, the uplift me and they touch me. I will remember that 80 year olds glasses and smile and story, probably as long as I live, hence why I am writing about him. Second I realized, again, that the dynamic of a group of people is the sum of its parts. It only takes one element of that group to shift it's entire direction AND it only takes that one person to make others walk away; quite quickly I might add.
While I would have liked to stay a bit longer, to at least finish the chapter I was reading, I was strongly urged to do otherwise and pack up and leave. But I took with me the light hearted synergy and fun of those moments when I got to witness the Three Men in the Coffee Shop sharing a bit of themselves with each other and with me. The little human touches we are all capable of. Thank you! :)