Dear Friend and Readers,
I’m sorry I told you it was Wednesday when you asked what day it was. It’s not Wednesday. It’s actually Tuesday. I wasn’t trying to lie to you. I just didn’t feel like asking Alexa what day it was. She’s really irritating me lately and I thought “I don’t need her. I can guess.”
It felt like a Wednesday so I said “Wednesday.” I didn’t tell you I was guessing. That’s my fault, but I’m telling you now. I know I should have answered “Full disclosure. I’m only guessing it’s Wednesday.” But I’m a flawed individual. Please forgive.
I found out it was Tuesday a couple of hours after we hung up.
A man in the DMV line said to me, when I still thought it was Wednesday, “Man! Tuesdays are supposed to the least busy day. Can you believe this line?”
“It’s Tuesday?” I asked. “Are you sure?”
“Pretty sure,” he said, though I could see a crack in his resolve.
I didn’t catch the name of the guy who knew it was Tuesday, but I’m calling him Maurie. He felt like a Maurie. Not knowing his name is killing me because he was my best friend in the DMV line. There’s a hole where his name should be.
I thought my best friend was going to be this nice lady behind me with the dyed red hair and the cone-shaped mask, but it turned out to be Maurie. Go figure. Maurie of all people.
I should have just asked him his name, but it was awkward, ya know? I didn’t his name. I probably wouldn’t be bumping into him at the grocery store or inviting him over for bridge, but still, I should have asked, for when I thought about him later.
Even as I was leaving, I could have said, “What do they call you?” Instead, I yelled “Guy, it was nice chatting with you.” Missed opportunities man. Life is full of them.
Maurie smiled. “You too,” he said. And that was me and Maurie. That’s all she wrote. I’ll never know if he was a Dwayne or a Pablo or a Francoise or a Bud. Now I have one more thing keeping me up at night.
Talking to Maurie made me miss looking things up. He was older. He was wearing a Vet mask and when I asked him which war, he said, “None of them. I missed them all.”
Maurie was a useful guy. I could tell. He knew stuff like, “Tuesdays are the least busy day at the DMV.” He volunteered as a docent at the Holocaust Museum and he enjoyed teaching teenagers about tolerance and equity.
Maurie said, “Sometimes when teens come to the Holocaust Museum, they ask me, “Don’t you think a lot of people, now, are like the Nazis?”
“I’m not supposed to get political, so I just say ‘What do you think?’ Which is pretty political if you think about it. Thinking for yourself is a pretty radical idea.”
Maurie probably looked up a lot of things in his day. Probably still does. He doesn’t seem like an “Alexa! When was WWII?” guy. He was more of a man with a book on his lap.
Remember when Encyclopedias spanned from one end of the bookshelf to the other? And if the shelves were shorter, they’d cover two shelves. Shorter than that, they filled a bookcase.
Remember Encyclopedias? When we wanted to know stuff, we walked over to the bookshelf, bend down, and pick out a lettered book off the shelf, and turned the pages until we came upon a very longwinded answer. No embellishing. No point of view, not that we knew of at least. Just a date, a location, a person, some pronouns, some pretty pictures, some verbs.
Well, that’s all I got for you except it’s Tuesday. And say ‘hi’ to Maurie if you see him and ask him his real name.
Woman who makes all her best friends in lines, Amy