friends and bagels

The problem with life being busy is time escapes me and I miss out on the things I enjoy most.
With my schedule, today becomes tomorrow and then days become weeks, and weeks turn into months. Next, the year has gone and half of my plans were forgotten, the rest were canceled because of work, and I missed the chance to see those I love most or enjoy my weekends.
As friends we say, “We’ll keep in touch,” and we try to. We really do. But the world gets in the way. Work becomes hectic and life has its minor casualties. It becomes so that months peel off the calendar, and I almost forget the last time I spoke to my closest friends.

I hate that . . .

I sometimes go to the bagel place on Front Street and East Meadow Avenue. I usually go early on Sunday mornings and I almost always order the same bagel with the same toppings.
I like this place because I worked there 26 years ago. The owners are the same and so is the address, but the bagel place is remodeled since I swung a mop across its reddish terracotta floors. The yellow walls have been updated since my time as an employee and so has the deli counter.
One thing that remains the same are the pretty young girls at the deli counter. I suppose hiring pretty young girls is a smart thing when it comes to business.
I am unsure how long I worked there, and to the best of my recollection, I was never fired. I say hello to the owners when I see them, only, I’m pretty sure they never recognize me or have any idea who I am.

What I like most about this morning trip to the bagel place is a group of friends that sit at the same table, at the same time, on the same day each week. I don’t know any of them and the all appear older than myself. They come in, order, sit down and talk, and after they eat breakfast, they go home and go on about their day.

I like that . . .

I like that people refuse to lose touch with one another. I like that technology has not taken them away from each other, and I like that there are people that still value the concept of friendship.

I spoke to one of my oldest friends last week. He is slightly older than I am and he knows me from birth. We don’t speak often, but when we do, I enjoy our talks. It feels good to know I have a friend, even if I don’t see him or hear from him often.
We laughed about old times and caught up on new ones.

“I’m glad I got to speak to you,” he said.
“I always feel a little bit better after we talk like this,” he told me.
“We don’t talk often, but when we do, it always makes me feel better.”

Over the years, I have lost touch with many of my friends. Some were lost due to a falling out, and some were lost because too much time got between us; we lost touch, and new priorities came along. We grew in different directions, and in many cases, we changed from who we were, and who we were is why we were friends in the first place.

This morning, I made my way into the city before the sunrise. I had to be at work before 6:00, which means I was unable to take my trip to the bagel place. But whether I was there this morning or not, I can guarantee that small group of friends were sitting at the same table, perhaps eating the same thing, and making sure work or life’s small catastrophes did not take away their time together.

I write this to you from my locker room and dinnertime is on its way. The room is empty, as is much of the building, and I am waiting for the last of the construction jobs to finish so I can leave.
The room I am in is quiet; it is so quiet that I can hear ringing in my ears. I can hear the clock ticking and the sound of my fingers tapping onto the keyboard. I can hear myself re-reading the words after I type them, but what I would rather is a friendly, familiar voice.

I don’t like that I sometime lose touch with the rest of the world. I suppose this is part of life, however, I wonder if life has to be this way..

I often think about setting up my own coffee clutch or a group of friends that meet at the same time, at the same place, on the same day. We could sit down, order breakfast, eat and talk about life, and then after breakfast, we can go back to our lives.

I think I’d like that.

Maybe you would too . . .

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