We all agreed to meet a Tim’s. It’s located right beside a grocery store, and we needed to pick stuff up for supper, as well as being a convenient place for us all to meet for a tea and gather up the girls and their stuff for the weekend. Joe and I arrived early. I pushed myself from the parking lot over to the door, which was a bit tricky but I managed, and then found the way the doors were configured, I would need help getting in, and I would have to go in backwards.
For some reason, maybe because Joe’s not used to helping me do this kind of thing any more, we had difficulty with manoeuvring the chair in and through the doors. A woman and her husband stood, gawking, at us as we did what we did. “Dinner and a show,” Joe muttered to me outside the hearing of the pair. When I got the chair turned around they were still staring at me, I said, “Please, I don’t want an audience.”
Have you ever seen someone go up in flames? Well she burst into anger, instantly. She told me in no uncertain terms that she wasn’t staring, that they were just “watching out for you like we would for anyone else.”
Watching out for us? We are 64 year old men? Watching out for us? Why?
Sure it was a struggle to get in, but because it was a tiny space and had sharp turns. If I’d needed help, we’d have had to shoehorn someone into the space and by the time we all squeezed through, someone would have ended up pregnant.
She stated that I should apologize.
I simply looked at her.
I had been on the other side of her eyes.
I didn’t apologize.
She and her husband turned towards the counter, she stood with her back rigid. If she ordered a bagel, it might be plain when it was handed over but it would be toasted by the time she got it to the car.
You’ll notice, I didn’t take her on. I didn’t apologize. I had things to say. But I didn’t take her on. I knew that in seconds the girls would rush through the door with their mother and I didn’t want them rushing into a scene. And as I predicted, moments later they arrived full of stories about the past week and questions about the upcoming weekend.
I didn’t notice her leave.
But I knew she was gone.
Heels hit the floor like gunshots as they made their way to the door.