I was going to write about peaches again – they are my fruit obsession. Then I had a change of heart due, in part, to a very bad day. Again, nothing that can compare to Mel Gibson’s string of awful days (highly deserved anyway if all we hear is true) and certainly not due to my own doing. Just a very hard day at work with mixed results and the scale tilting more towards the bad.
Until Greg came in to save the day. Greg comes every Friday with his caretaker – I believe he suffers from autism to an extent that he cannot be left alone. I would guess his age to be close to 20. Greg loves gift cards that he collects in large amounts – he can be very loud, obsessing over fireworks, asking the same questions over and over while waiting for his mother to come pick him up.. He doesn’t really purchase anything from us, on the contrary he brings his own snacks and sits at a table a bit out of the way, at closing time and we all let him be. He is particularly fond of one of our runners for whom he buys a gift every Christmas.
I like Greg with his tight sweaters barely covering his large belly and I like his caretaker who is always cheerful and polite. And when mom finally comes she always has appreciative words for us and the time we take to interact with her son. Frankly, it wouldn’t be Friday if Greg didn’t show up. Today I was sitting in my office wrapping up the spoils of this bad day and thinking about fixing a margarita once I got home, when I was asked to go downstairs because Greg had something for me. With a puzzled look, I entered the restaurant and found a piece of chocolate cake and a soda that Greg had bought to celebrate his birthday. He wanted to make sure I participated in his celebrations because, in the words of his mother, he thinks I am the best who has ever been at the restaurant and he really likes me. All thoughts he could not coherently put to me but he somehow conveyed to those who are close to him.
I was so touched and would like to think that, even if his mind works in ways I don’t comprehend, his heart or his instincts can tell him whom to trust. All I ever did was acknowledge his presence and sometimes help him tally all his gift cards and answer his questions over and over if I happened to walk by – on the drive home I was thinking that if I were to lose my job tomorrow, I would still have the memory of the one (non paying) customer who always left the restaurant satisfied. What more can I ask of a Friday?