But today I was.
I got in my car, was actually able to turn left out of the parking lot, (this NEVER happens) which is infinitely quicker to work. A slight chisel away at my grumpiness.
Then I hit the school zone right in front of work, where people find it necessary to go 10 under the school zone speed. You must realize that at that point, we’re almost at a rolling stop. +1 for grumpiness.
When I walked in, my boss was on the phone with someone. I grabbed the coffee pot and silently made my way to the Canteen. Once I got it brewing, I took a seat and waiting, eating my Starbucks breakfast.
Then James walked by.
James is a maintenance man here. I can hardly understand a word he says if I don’t watch his mouth closely. He is tall, has a shiny black head, and is the epitome of one who “lumbers.” He has an incredible green thumb, and always pops into my office to say hello, call me Smiley, and tease me about whatever he can. He has a cup of coffee in his hand today, and, as always, a smile on his face.
I must admit I was looking forward to not seeing anyone during my breakfast. Still, I smile back.
A conversation starts. I ask him what he’s going to do this weekend, as it will be Labor Day.
“Romance my lady.”When he says this, he closes his eyes, purses his lips, and lifts his chin up. He looks just like Bill Cosby. And then James began to talk. I mean *really* talk. Not jokes, not laughs; talking. He began to explain that his wife has made him the man he is. He talked about gratitude, about smart ladies with character, how God gives you green lights and fresh starts, even after 30 years of marriage. He told me that so many men were ungrateful, which was sad because he thought there were so many good ladies out there. We talked about how many fatherless homes there are, and maybe that’s the reason. He talked about how evil will put doubt in your heart, because doubt divides people from one another, and when you feel alone, “That’s when he gets ya.” He told me I always seemed full of life. I told him I was raised by a woman who is. After a while his radio went off, calling for anyone with empty hands to come to the courtyard. James looks down at his coffee cup, tells me to have a good friday and leaves through the stair exit.
Two minutes later I’m in the elevator with the coffee in my hand. It’s quiet, except for the sound of the big capsule slowly sinking to the first floor. Closing my eyes I think, “You’re pretty incredible,”and tell my Father thank you.