Tuesday, February 7, 2017

He is Cantankerous and THAT'S a Challenge

Mike and I are currently down to one vehicle.  People keep asking how we're handling this, and honestly, I love it! 
    Let me back up...Mike and I have been married just over a year.  And only having one vehicle means that he's either my chauffeur, or I'm his.  It's a pretty great gig actually.  I zip around, pretending I'm getting paid.  And Mike is the best client ever: he's not rude, or demanding, sometimes I even get food for driving him! AND he's cute.
    "Why are you so happy?" he asked yesterday.
    I just smiled because I've never gotten to be a chauffeur before!  If you can't make the best of things, you've got nothin'.
    So, it's my turn to drive every night, when I pick up my swing-shift husband for lunch. 
    This is one of my favorite parts of the day because the most cantankerous man is a security guard at Mike's work.  I drive up to a looming prison-like gate, and that man is supposed to let me in.
    He's super-old (almost one-thousand), and he does NOT like me.  I like him all right, though--he smells like black licorice and I can tell we'd have a lot in common if he'd quit grimacing so much.
    Every flippin' day I see this man.  He walks around to the left side of the truck and asks me my name.
    "Elisa," I spout, every time.  "But the real question is, how the hell are you?"
    He just stares at me and blinks.  The other day it was raining and he stood, getting rained on.  I couldn't figure for the life of me, why he doesn't just wave me through like the other security guards do.  Nope, this man has a badge AND a will.
     "Fine, Ma'am.  Move along. You're cleared to come in."  He kinda hobbles when he walks. And as he totters back to his booth, I keep telling myself, someday he'll smile when I get there...someday.
     Someone once told me that I want to be everything to everyone.  I wouldn't go that far, but I do want to brighten people's days.  Heck, when I was a kid, my favorite character on TV was Oscar the Grouch.  
 photo oscarthegrouch_zps6kglap7d.jpg
    I wished so bad that I could live next to him.  His attitude cracked me up, and I wondered, what had made him that cranky?  Had one of his family members died in a tragic accident?  Did he never feel loved as a child?  Did he wish he'd been born with cuter fur/hair whatever the heck that is?  Did someone once dress him as a Christmas tree?  Did he wish he owned tweezers for that unabrow?  The list goes on.
      Back to the story.  Yesterday, Methuselah, walked over to the driver's side of my truck.  He stared at me, not saying a word.  So, I broke the awkwardness.
    "The sun's been shining.  The snow is melting!  It's been a beautiful day."
     His left eyebrow raised, and he looked around us.  His hunchback was pretty prevalent and when he looked around, his whole body turned with his head.  "Beautiful, huh?"
    And, at the moment, it really wasn't.  The sky hung low with pregnant clouds ready to give birth to--the biggest storm the world has ever seen!
    "How are you today, anyway?" I asked.
    He leaned closer to me, studying me with those ageless eyes.  "I'm...all right.  Now move along!"  Then a slight smile crept onto his face.  
    I sped into the parking lot and couldn't control the happiness in my heart.  That man had made my day, just with a smile.  It's amazing what a little kindness can do.