Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Colby

I worked last night. My co-worker is a huge strapping friend of Cara's. Colby is a really good kid, hilariously funny. I enjoy working with him. Last night was one of those crazy nights. He was doing full serve and running register, which meant he was in and out a lot (in all that heat), and I was often by myself on the register. We were not as crazy busy as we had been over the holiday weekend. Things were finally beginning to calm down.

Anyhow, I happened to glance out and saw a large pile of things sitting along side our store. "Where'd that stuff come from?" I asked, blinking a little. (We'd just had a rush, and I'd been busy.) Colby started to speak, and a dredlocked, deeply tanned young man cheerfully said, "It's my stuff. Need me to move it?" He was returning the restroom key. "No, it's okay, no rush. I just had not seen you walk in." The 'non-gathering' of the Rainbow people is starting to break up, the tribes are heading for home, where ever that might be. So this kid and Colby talked for a minute before he left. He was a polite kid. Good looking. Bright clear eyes. Looking to catch a ride to New York State. He went out the door calling, "Thank you!" as Colby said, "Nice meeting you," and spontaneously, I found myself saying, "Hey. Be careful out there." Because people aren't nice sometimes, you know? The boy has a mother out there, I imagine. One who probably worries about her boy like I worry about my own kids, and like my own kids, this one assured me that he would be careful. Anyways, he gathered up his things, in all that heat, and stepped down the road a piece to an empty store, to wait along the highway with the ubiquitous cardboard sign. Spontaneously, Colby bought him a jug of iced tea, and went out across the parking lot to give it to him. (It was a hot, hot day, up in the high nineties.) I watched the two young men talking animatedly for a couple more minutes, and then Colby returned to the store. He stood over by the coffee machine, watching him for a time. He said, a little wistfully, "You know, if I was not working, I'd totally give him a ride." I smiled a little. "What?!!!" he said. "I know what you're thinking," I said. "What?" he asked again. "You're just the teensiest bit jealous right now." And Colby said, "Yeah. I am. I'd love to just take off. Not like that maybe." No. Indeed not. Colby has a mint condition Monte Carlo sitting in the parking lot. If he ever took off, it would be in his car. But I watched Colby, long hair down around his shoulders, criminal justice major, all around good kid and hard worker, staring out the window at another young man with long hair all down around his shoulders, watching him 'take to the highway', and I smiled to myself. I recognized the look on Colby's face. I used to have those same longings, and I am not so old that I have forgotten that.

Later on, Colby came in, and he said excitedly, "Oh, he got a ride. Somebody stopped for him," and I said, "I hope it's a good person," and Colby said, "Yeah, I know what you mean." The two of us went back to work.

14 comments:

Twain12 said...

i still have those yearnings sometimes :), hope he stays save!

Kelly said...

Full serve?? Wow. Those are few and far between around here.

Hope the fellow got home safely. Hitch-hiking seems to be so dangerous.

Bill of Wasilla said...

Holy cow! I take a trip to Greenland, where I had no time to follow anyones and not enough time to do mine right, then come home and find out that you have been entertaining rainbows, some of them naked.

I'm glad I was in Greenland, but I could have had a really good time photo blogging in your community these past few days.

I'm pretty sure this fellow will be save enough. I hope Tim and all the rest of you are safe enough, too.

Debby said...

Bill, I assure you, friend, all the rainbows that I came in contact with were clothed. Oddly clothed perhaps, but clothed.

Today, I did see a big burly bearded guy with a skirt on. I also thought to myself, 'see, now, if Bill were here, he'd have had a camera and gotten a picture'. Sigh. Unfortunately, this blog is stuck with me. We all cannot be photojournalists.

Debby said...

Kelly - yes. We have two full serve pumps. The rest are self serve.

Bob said...

Full serve?! FULL SERVE???? No way!

Colby is probably in need of an adventure. Most guys go through this at his age (I'm guessing he's early 20s). Here's hoping he gets to have his.

Debby said...

Oooh. I would not kid you about something like that. Bob. Yep. Two full serve pumps. Down the road we have a full serve station. You pull up there, and an amiable guy pumps your gas no matter what pump you're at. Truly.

Scotty said...

Aaah, the yearning for the open road, no mortgage, no kids, no worries - do we ever stop thinking of stuff like that? I don't, and I reckon I'm gonna become a grey nomad when I retire.

And full service gas stations? Man, I haven't seen one of those since the early 80s...

:-)

Lori said...

Glad he got a ride, and I hope he made it home safely. :)

Mikey said...

I yearn for it too. But I've done it and I'm old now and I long for my cough these days. I don't see enough of that couch...

Mikey said...

couch. I can spell. I swear, I'm just tired! lol

WhiteStone said...

I never seem to have my camera ready at hand, either. And when I do have it, that infernal lag time of digital cameras causes me to lose many a photo.

Bill of Wasilla said...

I've been coughing, Mikey. I've been coughing a lot. I've even been coughing on the couch. I long not to be on the couch, not coughing.

Debby, when you have put up pictures, I have enjoyed them.

You, too, Whitestone. I really like that robin and those leaves and that ant. Looks like art to me.

I'm going to be lazy and paste the last two sentences above into a comment on your site.

Greenland has drained me of energy.

quid said...

Such a wonderful post. I love how you read life's small moments.

quid