happy to see

01/17/2023 0 By BuddyCushman

My almost always route for my morning walk is to go over to 28th – there’s the Starbucks at 28th and B – turn north and walk past Ash and Birch and take a right onto Cedar. Over a block and another left, north on Granada, which sends me on my way uphill a long time and then back downhill. A while ago, as I was approaching Cedar, a rather large man with a rather large dog was crossing 28th onto Cedar, and I saw we’d get there and have to share walking space, and being all flexible and everything, I decided to just keep going down to Date and then Granada.

I haven’t told you this yet, but I was really hoping to run into my Mexican sort of pal Diego on the walk, the tables and chairs way too soaked for him to be in his usual outside-Starbucks spot. So, maybe 20 yards farther down 28th – farther than the plan – I heard a “Hey”, and across the street, crossing over to greet me, there was Diego. I would not have seen him were it not for the dude and his dog. As Diego was crossing I said, “Hola mi amigo.” I saw this big smile appear on his face. I said, “Como esta usted?”, kind of a “How’s it going?”, which I’d looked up in my Spanish lesson notes in the steno pad right before leaving my room to make sure I had it right. He came over and we shook hands and he answered in Spanish and I didn’t know what he said (kind of hoping for something simple like, “Bien”). Then he asked me a question, again, don’t-know hardly any Spanish mind on my end. Then he said this in English – “It’s makes me happy to see you trying.”

It’s early when I’m writing this. Still, it’s a stretch to imagine there’ll be many more highlights to this day of mine, still being here and everything, than coming upon a guy I don’t know well, a guy who said “Yes” (“Si”) when I asked if he’d help me learn Spanish, a guy who since then asks every time I see him, “When are we going to get started?”

Don’t bother the traffic. Don’t push the river. Go with the flow. Stay open to the offers from the day. All of them. “It makes me happy to see you trying.”

How cool is that.