I’m very much a creature of habit. I like the familiar, and change, although I recognize its value, totally upsets my equilibrium. I like people to be where they’re supposed to be, when they’re supposed to be there. I like people to be who I know them to be, and not act out of character. I like to know what’s for supper. I like it when people know my name, or at least my needs. I have trouble concentrating at an unfamiliar work station, or shopping at a grocery store when they move everything around. Shopping malls and amusement parks are absolutely torture.
I have people who are not necessarily “friends”, in the strictest sense, but who are touchstones in my life. They are people I see daily, with whom I exchange pleasantries; little jokes, smiles, caring words. Tiny connections that I miss when they’re not present, but that I know enough to appreciate.
I know when I go into the Husky station on Chemong Road on my way to Lindsay that the burly, bearded tattoo-guy will say “must be Thursday”. I know that Dayna will be at the desk at Goodlife and she’ll make me laugh, and Allie will put me through my paces, firmly but kindly. I play a game every morning with Deb at Treats, to see how close I can get to the counter before she sees me coming. “Red Light,” means she caught me and has my extra-large cup ready to go, and knows whether I need a large or a small milk for my cereal, or no milk at all, depending on what day it is. Andy our building superintendent is always out and about in the early sunshine, making our little office world a nicer place. The guy who owns Jackson Park Convenience, who for some reason insists on balancing my box of cigars on its end, rather than laying it down flat. Mabel will be at the lunch counter at court, making the best sandwiches ever, and telling me I look good. My coworkers will say “Good Morning!” and mean it, and we’ll talk about our joys and our frustrations.
They may not be my “nearest and dearest”, these people, and many more like them that I’ve not mentioned, but they’re the people who make my world go ’round, the pleasant and reliable acquaintances who smooth my path and soothe my erratic psyche.