I’m sitting in a Tim Hortons in London, gazing at the span of humanity before me. People-watching is so much fun.
Across the way, two guys and a girl, all seniors I’d guess, are having a grand old time. They’re probably setting a world’s record for laughs per minute. I can’t quite hear their topics of conversation but it seems like they’re not laughing at anyone. It’s more like they’re chuckling at life. Every so often they greet someone in line so these folks must be regulars.
Off to my right, another old guy sits alone. He’s wearing a grey plaid beret, plus a scowl. Wow, does he look unhappy. His arms are crossed and he’s looking down. Such a contrast to the laughers nearby. I ponder going over and talking to him, but leaving him alone and wishing him well feels like a better plan. So that’s what I do.
I look at the teenager who served me half an hour ago. Her face is pretty, when you think of Hollywood. It’s buried, however, under a white coat of makeup. And there’s a paleness about her spirit too. She filled my order with the contact of a robot. I felt like a “thing” in her eyes. Still, I also wish her well. May she discover what’s truly beautiful in our world.
Now a young guy sits down with the laughers. Green ball cap, camouflage jacket, heavy growth on his face. F-in this and F-in that. Complaining about someone or something almost continually. The smiling ones adjust and smile some more.
I switch seats to watch the parade of cars at the drive-thru. Faces waiting in line:
A young man at the wheel, passenger seat empty, an elderly woman in the back. What does that mean?
A 60-something woman wearing a bright red coat, surgical mask tucked under her chin. What could this story be?
A blue Dodge Ram truck looming above me, with two bearded fellows talking loudly to each other.
A teenaged girl driving her mom, I suppose -the young one gesturing in the air and the old one smiling.
A black SUV climbs the curb. Inside, there’s a grey-haired fellow with a black coat and sunglasses. I look to see if there’s an earpiece.
And beyond the drive-thru lane is the traffic on Wellington Road. The flow of human beings, slowed only by red lights. I’m in the midst of us and it’s a pleasure to be here. Home is not alone. Home is with you.