Lunch is off-schedule. Never a sure thing anymore. Hit and miss. Sometimes I hear from Karen, sometimes not. I’m seeing a pattern though.
How is your schedule today? Any plans to have lunch early and listen to the music? – T
I have to attend a meeting and take the minutes. – Karen
am going to lunch now. Karen
OK. – T
Is lunch on the agenda today? – T
ok. – Karen
Hi Karen. Are you able to go today? I have something to show you. – T
I am going in a few minutes. Karen
I show Karen the new “Sad” tattoo – she says nothing. She doesn’t know she is the inspiration.
I will not be going to lunch today. I will be with my aunt in the hospital. – Karen
Not serious, I hope? – T
Today I will be meeting my cousin for lunch. – Karen
Thanks very much for letting me know early. 🙂 C ya l8r. – T
I will be visiting my aunt today at lunch. She has finally been moved out of ICU. – Karen
I wish her well. Let me know how she’s doing. Miss ya. – T
Ran into Karen in the lobby of my building. She was rushing somewhere with another woman. I said Hi. I should have asked her about lunch, but I was in a hurry myself. Sent an email later:
Looked like you were training someone new. Sorry to rush off; had a meeting. I did want to ask if you’d be able to have lunch today? – T
No reply. I went over to the cafeteria, but she didn’t show.
I am going to lunch now. – Karen
Since it’s 1:00, I don’t reply; I rush over. Lunch is quiet. We don’t say much between mouthfuls of Frito pie.
I will not be going to lunch today. It’s my bosses b-day and we are having gelato. – Karen
Sounds like fun. Is your aunt recovering OK? – T
No reply, no emails from Karen. She doesn’t show up at the cafeteria for the next three weeks. I eat alone.
The usual 1:00 or so? – T
Yes, 1:00. Karen
Conversation is subdued again. Karen’s Aunt needs surgery. When she recovers, she will need more surgery. Karen has been going to see her a couple days a week.
Happy Birthday! I know, I’m a day late. Actually, I sent you an e-card via Blue Mountain yesterday, so it may be in your junk folder. Anyway, with the card, I offered to treat you to lunch today, if that is an option. Let me know if you’d like to meet for lunch, or if you already have other plans. – T
My boss is taking me out to lunch. – Karen
Good! I hope it’s someplace fun. Hope your birthday was a good one, and your Halloween too – hope it all went well, and you had fun with all that. – T
Lunch today? @ 1? – T
We are having a meeting and potluck today for the Community Advisory Counsel. – Karen
Are you free today for lunch? – T
I will get back to you later. – Karen
I can go at 1 ish. – Karen
C you then. – T
Would you be able to meet for lunch today? 1:00 pm or so OK? – T
We will be working on the door for the Peds door decorating contest at that time. – Karen
Can you make it for lunch today? – T
I already have plans. Sorry. – Karen
No email at all in January. I think Karen is mad about the Xmas card I sent to her house, but since I didn’t see her at work, I decided to mail it. I decide to email her on:
I’m available to join you for lunch today, if that’s something you still like doing. On Fridays I always wait until 1:00 or 1:15 to hear from you, because you don’t always go. Hope you’re doing well. – T
Sorry I missed your email. Today was the last day of work for one of our co-workers so a bunch of us went to O’Neill’s to have a goodbye lunch. – Karen
Hi. Can I make an appointment for lunch? – T
Was out all day buying microwaves. – Karen
I’m heading over to the cafeteria in a few minutes for Frito pie. – T
I already have plans. I should be free next Fri. – Karen
02/13/09 Friday the 13th
1:00? – T
No reply. The email remains unopened. However, I go anyway. She shows up shortly after I get my food. We say Hi. She walks to the counter. I find a table. I try not to look, but I keep glancing over to see if she’s coming. It takes her a while. The new position of the cash registers blocks my view and for a time I can’t see if she’s still there. I finally see her at a register, and then she steps away, towards the door, but she’s only getting a plastic fork and a paper napkin. I keep watching out of the corner of my eye. I look down to put a bite of Frito pie in my mouth and then I see her walking over. I would have been really hurt if she’d just left without coming over.
(But, I notice, long after lunch is over, that she finally opened the email, so she didn’t know I was going to be there.)
So, we finally have lunch. I think things are back to normal. No mention of Valentine’s Day of course, but I forget to mention anything about Friday the 13th. Her Aunt is finally out of the hospital. Her niece is 5 now, and already looking forward to decorating a pumpkin for next Halloween. Karen is collecting pieces of felt to put together a Halloween-themed October 2009 calendar. I ask her about the Christmas break, if she went anywhere, and she just says no. Just family things. She doesn’t mention the card I mailed to her, or the money I put in it. $100 is really a lot. I should mention the card, just to make sure she got it OK, but Karen is talking about anime. Karen is watching a lot of Japanese anime TV shows on her computer. She mentions three or four shows, but now I can’t remember the names of them. I interrupt her sometimes to put my two cents into the conversation, but I do it too often, I suppose, because she raises her voice a bit to continue with what she had been saying. I had forgotten. I back off immediately, and let her talk. I have nothing very interesting to talk about anyway, since we’d already talked about the financial crisis at the university, and the inept bureaucracy. She gets up to go and I walk to the door with her so we can dump our trash. She takes her empty Starbucks Mocha Frappacino bottle with her to put in the recycling bin where she works. She usually gets one with lunch. We used to walk over to the espresso coffee cart after lunch, but the bottled Mocha drink is all she has at lunch now. She always hurries back to work. I don’t walk up the hill with her anymore. In fact, today, she says good-bye right outside the door. I wish her a good weekend. Although she has already turned away, I ask, “Any plans this weekend?” She turns and just says no. I no longer say anything, or even think of saying anything about the two of us doing something. I try not to be “inappropriate” anymore. I turn away myself and walk back to work, without turning around to watch her go like I used to. I still wonder what it is that is so “inappropriate” that two single people who have no plans for the weekend couldn’t do something together, but I know. However, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Neither of us will see anyone else tonight or then. Both of us will probably stay home. I will think of Karen. Karen won’t think of me at all until next Friday, and only if I email her about lunch. She’ll probably be busy.