When I write, I am head down, stop talking, leave me alone and let me type and sip coffee.
Earl has other ideas.
Earl is a newcomer to my Starbucks.
He looks to be one of those retired guys that has lost the first flush of retirement.
Took a trip, found a few hobbies, enjoyed the slower pace.
Now he is in his late 80’s and a pain in my ass.
Don’t get me wrong, I like people.
But unless I make friends with you or we’re are related by blood or marriage, leave me alone.
The Grinch is my prison bitch today.
Earl is one of those old guys that wants to talk to you, but has nothing to say.
And before you go down that road of telling me to look in the mirror, bite me.
I never said a word to him and he just erupted a conversation all over me.
He said good morning, I said hi, then I didn’t speak for ten minutes.
It got so bad that I contemplated playing dead, like a bear had entered the Starbucks, in the hopes that he would wonder off.
Here is what I learned.
- Earl is a widower with 3 kids.
- The kids are all married, have kids of their own and live local.
- His wife’s name was Samantha.
- He was an electrician.
- He drives a Buick that makes noise, but the dealership says there is nothing wrong.
- He loves the Anaheim Angels.
I have friends that I have known for years that I do not know this much about, that I don’t want to know that much about.
I can hear the comments now.
He’s just a lonely old guy, Will, you heartless shit!
He lives with the middle kid and is the babysitter for all the grandkids, which he claims to love.
So he is not sitting in an empty place, all alone, staring at old photos.
I began festering early on in the conversation.
Evil shit happens in my head when i fester, its not pretty.
Earl then decides, again unprovoked, to tell me all about what his beloved Anaheim Angels are up to.
And in a total shocker, saying “Shut up Earl” out of the blue doesn’t phase him.
He just laughed and told me about dugout protocol.
I am in hell.
Take me out to the ball game, and put a bullet thru my head.
This ratchets my dislike of both baseball in general and the Angels specifically up to a new level of distaste.
I felt guilty for years when I would go to Thanksgiving and had to sit at the kids table, because I would be wondering when an old relative at the big table would pass away and I could sit there?
I have no guilt at all, and I realize that makes me a bad person, in wondering fondly when will Earl take a dirt nap?
I would try to fake not speaking English, but that one is tough to pull off for the long term.
With my luck, whatever accent I use, he would speak the language it goes with and then I am fucked.
With luck, Alzheimers will kick in tomorrow and he won’t be able to find the Starbucks.
We can only hope.