Homecoming

This afternoon snuck up on me and I realized that I needed to get out of the office and get myself something to eat for lunch. I try to support the local guy as much as possible but sometimes I just get Subway on the mind.

Eating at the Subway in Marble Falls has always been a trick for me. If you don’t know me, I have borderline psychotic idiosyncrosies. I cannot eat in a restaurant by myself and have a stranger sit accross from me at another table. If I decide that I’m going to eat in a restaurant, I have to strategically seat myself to where sitting across from a stranger won’t happen.

I’ve been in a great mood all day. I’ll chalk that up to it being Friday. Today I strutted into Subway. The kid who works at Subway 9 times out of 10 when I decide to have lunch there was working today. If he’s working I usually get my order to go because this kid is a busboy. He stays out on the floor and waits for people to leave the restaurant so he can immediately wipe off the tables or sweep the floor. He’s also in charge of stocking the chip rack and swapping out the soda machine syrup.

If the restaurant isn’t crowded, I’ll find a booth where no one could possibly sit in front of me. Except for the busboy, whenever he’s done bussing and he leans against the facade’s inside window and buzzardly waits for the next crumbs to sweep. He just leans there, looking around at all the tables and will eventually makes eye contact with me which makes my skin crawl. It’s not him in particular… it’s just one of my “Seinfeldisms”.

Today he was there. I was in such a great mood that I didn’t mind him being there, even the thought of him buzzarding didn’t break my stride. I was in such a great mood that I didn’t bother strategically seating myself. I went out on a limb and sat at the second table closest to the window.

The busboy decided to sweep. He swept right next to the table at which I was sitting.

“Hi! How are you doing today, sir?”

“I’m doing great today! How ’bout yourself?” I retorted.

He said he was doing fine as well. The busboy is mentally handicapped and has a fantastic attitude which only heightened my own.

He then asked, “Are you going to the Homecoming tonight?”

I hadn’t been asked that question in over a decade. I was taken aback for a moment. I grinned on the inside and thought about Marble Falls; the quaint, eclectic small town that takes great pride in high school football.

“No. I’m not from here.” I responded. At that point that I felt like the lone biker stopping in at the small town diner for a bite to eat before making my way west to the other side of the States.

“Where are you from?”

“Austin.”

A brief exchange in small talk ensued and quickly ended at the busboy was summoned to stock the chip rack.

“Homecoming” I kept hearing. I kept grinning. Homecoming was such a fun thing.

My chipper spirit and I continued on with lunch. I eat the exact same thing every time I eat at Subway. A 6″ Club on Italian with chipotle sauce, lettuce, onions, bell peppers, olives, banana peppers, jalepenos and cucumbers. I never eat the cucumbers on my sandwich. I always take them off and eat them before my sandwich. I think cucumbers on a sandwich are weird but I want to get my money’s worth so I eat them the way that I do. I always get a bag of Miss Vickie’s jalepeno potato chips. That’s my Subway order, every time. I eat my chips before my sandwich.

I was 3/4 of the way through eating my sandwich and Mr. Mel Gibson-lookalike UPS driver walks into the restaurant. I didn’t pay much notice until he went through the line, walked through the restaurant and set his food down on the table across from me. It wouldn’t have bothered me except that he set his food, drink and newspaper on the side of the table with the booth that faces me. I just knew he was going to sit facing me. 90% of the other tables in the restaurant were available but he chose that one.

He put his food and paper down and went to the bathroom. It was at that point when I scarfed down the remainder of my sandwich. He came back and sat down just as I was taking my last two hurried bites. Sure enough. He sat down directly across from me, facing me.

I absolutely hate that.

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