The coffee came by chance after an early morning run at the Y. Being the proverbial procrastinator trying to avoid the Mt. Everest of laundry at the house, I decided to anonymously join a group of older friends. This a group who seem to live at the Y. Forever parked with their cheap coffee and uncomfortable chairs. I choose a more comfortable chair with a round table separating it from a empty, yet equally, comfortable chair. Smart phone in hand I ventured on to see what the world of free Wi-Fi had to offer. Then came the coffee.
Ten minutes into my moment of silence, he sat down across from me. His eyes were sad. His face looked gloomy. He sighed. I thought to my self, "Hasn't this guy read my blog, what in the world does he have to be worried about?" Then came my out of body experience --I blurted out loud, "What are you so stressed about?" He looked at me stunned, shrugged his shoulders, and replied with a bit of a grin, "Nothing, I'm just bored."
I put down the phone, went over to the coffee station, and poured what would be a 15 minute conversation that would carry me thru the rest of the day.
My coffee partner's name is Herb. He is originally from the Boston area. At one time he worked as an electrical kind of guy. He has a few kids. He has a bunch of grand kids. He attends the seniors workout class at 10:30 everyday. He moved to Georgia three years ago after the passing of his wife. He misses her so much. Sure he lives close to his daughter now but, they are busy living their "young lives." He lives alone. He is lonely. "Everyday is the same," he said. The coffee is the most exciting part of his morning.
So, I spent some time with a perfect stranger. It was valuable to learn about someone and to know that when I see him again, I can try to make his coffee a little more exciting -- that's not something a smart phone can help you with.
Invest in the unknown- the return is the greatest cup of coffee you will ever have.