web analytics

It was only the beginning…

It was heavily overcast but I decided that I really could benefit from some fresh air and a bit of getting up off my rump to move some blood clots around.  I couldn’t have been five minutes into my walk when I felt a drop of rain.  Fortunately I wasn’t that far, I could go back and get an umbrella but I decided against it, convinced that the real rain, if any, would hold off.  I wasn’t planning on walking long.  Just a bit of fresh air.  I continued.

Another five minutes and the drops were much more frequent, what we might call a light drizzle and not enough to make me turn around quite yet.  Across the street a man was pulling his garbage can to the curb.  I looked over at him and he looked decidedly grumpy as he glared at me.  I smiled at his glare and he didn’t break his gaze.  No problem I thought to myself when out of nowhere he blurts out in an almost angry voice, “It’s raining!!!”.  It was as if he was angry that I was out in the rain.  I found it odd but simply answered, “Yes, it is.”  The next thing I know, he drops his garbage can and literally prances across the street and starts talking to me.  Somewhere between the one side of the road and the other, his entire demeanor changed and by the time he got over to my side and in front of me he was all smiles, gyrating like Twinkletoes and asks me if I like his house.  I was fascinated.  So, the house is a new construction and almost complete.  It looks pretty much like every other house.  I politely told him that it was beautiful.  And then, that’s when it all began…

Photo by Kharim Hogan

Photo by Kharim Hogan

For the next 20 minutes, I stood there listening to a stream of stories as he proceeded to tell me that he had purchased this plot of land more than 20 years ago but he and his wife lived in St-Lazare.  He told me how much he paid for the land and what it was worth now, exactly how much he spent to build this house and how much he sold his other house for.  The only reason they decided to finally do something with the land was because they couldn’t stand the nuclear sized mosquitos in St-Lazare and how wonderful it was that in Vaudreuil there are no mosquitos, none, ever.  Now, he met his wife while working for Bell Canada where they both worked for over 30 years and he told me all about what it was like to work there and why Bell no longer offers any service of any kind to its customers.  He gave me every detail of that but it boils down to the fact that Bell got upset when the CRTC ruled for deregulation so Bell took their ball and went home.  They are still angry about it and have no intentions of changing their customer service policies, he tells me.  Nevertheless, as he came off that tangent that came out of nowhere, he explains that they debated building a bigger home because they don’t want their children to see that as an invitation to move back in.  You see, they have friends who had to move into a one-bedroom apartment because that was the only way to get the children out.  So he and his wife have decided to make very clear rules.  As I’m listening, I’m thinking to myself that after working over 30 years at Bell and just by the looks of him, I would have to guess that his children must be in their 40’s.  But you know, you can’t just a book by its cover.  Surprisingly, he didn’t tell me the age of his children or how many they have.  He was too busy with the many other details such as where he grew up and how much he got paid while at Bell, his retirement plan, his net worth and on and on.  Suddenly, he stopped to take a breath and it was as if that moment of respite was enough for him to realize that it was now raining quite hard.  He says, “Oh, it’s really raining now!!” and that was my opportunity to suggest that I move on before I was utterly and completely soaked.  He agreed.

At this point he decides to share his name and he says, “Well, it’s too bad it’s raining because I would’ve told you my life story.  It’s okay, I’ll tell you the next time!”  I had to pick my eyeballs up off the floor thinking to myself, “That wasn’t your life story???”.  So I walked off and as he was skipping back across the street, I kindly suggested that he pick a sunny day for his life story.  I can’t imagine how long I’ll be there the next time…I may have to consider changing my route.  He was kind man though despite the somewhat harsh initial greeting.  Sometimes getting a breath of fresh air is not at all what you expect…

Kharim

5 Comments

  1. Haha! I love this story! :) Too bad it was raining, I want to know more. Please don’t change your route and make sure you go back on the same day… chances are that he’ll be putting his garbage out again. Maybe to increase your chances, you could find out when recycling day is too!! 😉

    Reply
    • Thanks Sonya! You know, I can tell you where he lives and what day he puts his garbage out if you want to hear more firsthand. I have a sneaky suspicion that he has plenty of stories to go around. Maybe bring along some drinks or a picnic… :)

      Reply
      • Oh I don’t think that that will work… I don’t have your gift! :)

        Reply
  2. You made a difference in his day. Yes, I agree with Sonya, I want to hear more. He will be watching for you every time he puts out the garbage. Your smile turned his rainy day around. I am not so sure about the “no mosquitoes” in Vaudreuil. Maybe they are all over at my place.

    Reply
    • Thank you Sue!! I thought the same thing about the mosquitoes. It might be because he’s on the water and it’s windier?

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>