On friendship

Eight years ago this month, March 2005, I was earning a living driving a taxi.  March 2005 was a very good month for me.

Just about this time of the month, I met a young lady in the taxi.  I had finished a call and decided to grab a coffee before returning to my preferred cab stand.  I pulled onto the sidestreet that led to the drive-through entrance at my usual Tim Hortons (this is Ontario – of course it was a Timmy’s) when a girl flagged me down.  Coffee is good, but making money is better, so I picked her up.  She told me where she wanted to go and as I turned around, she asked me if I was Cat.  I admitted it and she told me a mutual friend had told her what a fabulous driver I was (her words, not mine).  I gave her my number and she began calling me whenever she needed a taxi. Even though I stopped driving in May of 2005 we remained friends until 2011.  I had a greater income than she, and there were a couple of times she asked to borrow money from me, which I gave her.  One day in July 2011, she asked again, but this time I just didn’t have it.   Never heard from her again.

About a week after I met this first lady, I met another young lady.  The story behind that meeting is this: her cousin, who was a regular customer, asked me to drive her into Toronto to pick up her cousin and bring them both out to my customer’s place for the weekend.  Have you ever met someone and instantly it’s as if you’re old friends who haven’t seen each other in a while?  That’s what it was like with this young lady.  Within five minutes, we  had bonded.  In the eight years since we met, our friendship has deepened to the point we consider each other a confidante. We’ve told each other our deepest, darkest secrets and know they will go no farther. We know each other’s moods and usually know how to lighten them if needed. She truly is my dearest friend.  Perhaps the most amazing part of our friendship is we’ve never argued.  We can discuss anything – politics, religion, you name it – and never argue.  I’m not saying we don’t disagree, but if we do find ourselves heading for words, one of us will end the phone call.  And within ten minutes, we’re on the phone again, potential argument behind us. Sometime this coming week, we’re going to get together and celebrate eight years of friction-free friendship.

Enjoy your day. I hope you are blessed with a similar friendship.  Remember to hug an artist – we need love (and true friendship) too.


Am I really Canadian?

It has been said that to be Canadian, you must like three things: hockey, Tim Hortons coffee (they dropped the apostrophe years ago) and maple syrup.

First, yes, I like maple syrup – in small quantities.

As for Timmy’s well, maybe I drank too much of it when I drove a cab nights, for I now find it bitter.  I usually order tea when I’m there.

As for hockey, that’s what prompted this posting. If you live anywhere in North America, by now you must be aware the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association finally settled their long lock-out/strike.  The Toronto Maple Leafs, as they have done in the past, are hand delivering packages to some of the seasons ticket holders, using present and former players for the purpose.

This afternoon I was distracted by the sound of slamming doors outside my apartment window.  When I checked, I saw a Purolator Courier truck with someone wearing a Leafs’ jersey in the right front seat and beside it a van from one of the local television stations.  The van was in the process of disgorging a camera man and commentator.  Apparently someone in the office next door was about to get their Leafs’ seasons tickets.  I watched for a short time and saw the passenger get out of the truck carrying a Purolator package.  I’m on the second floor so couldn’t really make out much more than the fact the  obviously former player was losing his hair.  My first thought was “who’s the bald guy?”  It wasn’t until he turned around that I recognized Wendell Clark, one of the gods of Leaf Nation.

So why didn’t I recognize Wendell?  Mainly because I haven’t really followed hockey since the league expanded beyond the “original six”.  That was, I believe, 1967, which coincidentally is the last time the Leafs won the Stanley Cup.

Which brings up the question: Am I really Canadian when I don’t like hockey or Tim Hortons, but do like maple syrup?   In my opinion, one out of three ain’t bad.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.