The following morning, I lay in bed taking my time waking up. I was in no hurry—it was Sunday and was going to be another spring-like day. I could already feel the warmth of the sun radiating through the venetian blinds.
I always leave the blinds open at night, so I can watch the stars—that’s another thing Sam hated—she needed complete darkness and a shut door.
As I lay there taking mental inventory of our differences, my cell phone began vibrating and ringing on the night table beside my bed. I reached over and picked up.
“You’re still in bed, aren’t you?”
It was Cam Stewart, my best friend since high school. Just hearing his soft, sincere voice served to remind me how everyone in my life seemed my polar opposite—why was that?
“Hey Cam. I’m awake—just not out of bed yet.”
“Don’t tell me you were out on a hot date last night.”
“Okay, I won’t.”
“No, c’mon seriously. How do you do that? You just broke up with Sam.”
“I wasn’t out with a girl.”
“Oh. Should I be concerned?”
“Very funny. I was at the hockey game.”
I could hear him breathing as he pondered that bit of news.
“You’re serious—you got tickets to the Leafs-Flyers game last night?”
“A friend got them—Golds—and so I paid for our meal in the Air Canada Club Restaurant.”
“Some guys have all the luck.”
“Yeah, I suppose breaking up with Sam qualifies.”
Cam got all earnest, “Well, maybe not that—sorry, if I touched a sore spot, but, I’ve got glad tidings that will cheer you up.”
“You know how Nettie’s always shopping on Kijiji? Well, she came across an ad for Thirties memorabilia. She phoned the woman and made an appointment to see her treasure trove at one o’clock this afternoon.”
“She actually did it for you, figuring you’d be interested.”
“I sure am—where is it?”
“In the Bloor-West Village area.”
“Great! Why don’t you come along and I’ll treat you to brunch at the Bloor-Jane Restaurant.”
“Sounds good. I’ll pick you up in half an hour.”
I leapt out of bed and headed to the shower. The day might not be a total loss after all.
A half hour later, Cam was buzzing up from the lobby. I glanced at the grandfather clock on my way out and it said ten-thirty—there was lots of time to spare.
“Apparently this woman’s great-aunt died,” Cam said, as he navigated through traffic, “and she found all these mementoes in the attic—mostly concerning people she doesn’t know.”
“I get it—so, no attachment, eh?”
Cam shrugged. “I suppose it’s just old junk to her.”
I chuckled, “you know, that’s what McLuhan said about antiques—just other generations’ junk.”
He frowned doubtfully,” I suppose—never thought of it that way, though.”
I smiled inwardly at Cam’s guarded response. I recalled the day he showed me his family coat of arms, the heraldic shield and the motto that suited him to a T: abudans cautela non nocet—one can never be too careful—that was certainly Cam.
By the time we got to the diner, it was packed. I loved eating here because it had a retro feel. It actually was a 1950’s diner and the giant cash register looked original—like an old Enigma machine.
It’s strange how everything I do is usually related to the past—even right down to where I eat breakfast.
The waitress seated us by the window and we ordered the usual lunch pail breakfast favored by the construction workers who frequent the place—scrambled eggs, sausage, and rye toast—and of course, fried potatoes.
We both added chocolate milk shakes and weren’t disappointed—they arrived in a huge fluted glass, along with the remainder of the shakes served in two, cold silver blending vessels.
Life was good.
I smiled and Cam smiled back at me, wiping chocolate shake from his upper lip.
“Did you know my dad used to hang out here as a teenager?” I chirped.
He looked surprised. “This place was around in the Happy Days Era? That’s cool.”
“Yeah. My dad used to sit at a booth and each one had wall-mounted Wurlitzers that were little coin-operated juke boxes.”
“Now, those would fetch a pretty penny nowadays—people are really into vintage stuff.”
“I suppose so.”
I don’t know why Cam’s remark depressed me—then, I remembered—it all came back.
Sam standing in my kitchen telling me she made a mint off nostalgia freaks like me. I suddenly lost my appetite.
© 2017 – 2018, John J Geddes. All rights reserved.