Friday, January 1, 2021

Friends Help Ease Into The New Year...

Good "New Year's Day" Friday, y'all.
I had a good day yesterday meeting, by chance, some friends I haven't seen in a while. One guy, Ricky McCubbin, singled me out as I walked out of The Fat Spoon in Covington. We were both covered with our masks on so I don't know how he recognized me. Ricky called me "Benny" so I knew he was from way back, but it wasn't until he told me who he was that I got it.
Naturally, we spent another half an hour catching up on the forty plus years that has passed us. The dude knows everyone in this town, I swear!
Shaking my head in disbelief, and with a full belly, I headed out to get some things accomplished. At the Mandeville Walmart I bumped into... actually, she bumped into me, Tanya Dischler. She looked too good and well dressed to be grocery shopping, so we talked instead.
We should've just put the baskets away and stopped by a Starbucks to continue our many topics. I don't believe I seen Tanya in over a year. Funny how we take such things for granted. When I had a gym membership at the Pelican Health Club, I'd see her just about every other day!
We joked about her sons concern and living alone with the pandemic. She said they suggested she wear one of those medical alert buttons on a necklace and the first thing I thought was, "it's gotta be fashionable!" Ha!
As we continued yapping and laughing away, clogging up shoppers in the produce center with those oversized grocery carts, in pops Kelly Fortier. I caught her zooming on by so I didn't say hello.
Twenty minutes later, she stops to say hello and then zooms by us with her booty amazed that Tanya and I were still partying in the produce section. We finally pulled ourselves away vowing to continue our conversation later... maybe next week.
Checking out of the store, a woman passed by me staring the whole time. There was, I'm sure a bright smile behind the mask because her bright blue eyes twinkled in a way that said I know you from somewhere.
As with my friend, Ricky, there's this momentary fog in your brain that just doesn't seem to comprehend what your eyes already know...
"Hey dummy, wake up... We know this person!"
And, we did, that is; my brain and my eyes did.
"Wait, she said, I think that I know you from... "
"Uh... yeh, but um... where?
I don't know if she was just being coy or too shy, but for sure, I felt like I needed a third cup!
"Your Ben and I'm...
But before she could say her name, I blurted out, "Julie Lemaire!"
From that point on we chatted for a few minutes reminiscing our times with our mothers at the Mandeville Senior Center. She was a retired nurse that came every Wednesday to take the vitals of every patron that passed through the doors.
My mom so enjoyed Julie's mom's companionship that when "Dot" died, I just had to paint a portrait of her for Julie. It sure doesn't feel like it was that long ago. She invited me to become one of her Facebook friends, so now it won't be so long between chats.
She was telling me that she's taking classes to be re-certified to help administer vaccines in the coming months. I think she's feeling good about that!
On my way back to Folsom, I stopped by an Office Depot to replace 2020 with 2021 though I'm not too thrilled about it.
Finally, a second cup!
Copyright Ben Bensen III/2021