Hey Mama Heart,
Do we have relatives that owns a pizzeria in my part of town? I’m asking because I took a new path home the other day and I swear that I could see a Heart that shined so brightly that it surrounded the entire restaurant. I had wanted to stop then but it was late and the place was closed but today, after a day well-spent gardening, I ended up taking the same path.
It was no later than mid-afternoon and the heat was getting to me, I was feeling dehydrated, light headed and needing to rest from the sun with something sweet and refreshing. I had completely forgotten about that restaurant until it came up ahead with the heart still beaming around it even in this bright mid-afternoon sun. Perfect for a break, I thought while wondering what shines so strongly that it can be seen even in the brightest sun?
It was nice and cool inside yet I was warmly greeted as soon as I stepped in. The place felt very welcoming and the man behind the counter to my right strike me as familiar. I seemed to be to him too but we couldn’t quite figure it out so he offered me a menu instead. If we are related, it would be from your side of the family. It was in his eyes, the smile and some of his mannerisms too.
“No need. I’ll have a pop and be quick on my way.” A drink and ten minutes was all I needed. He pointed to the wide selection of beverages in the standing fridge directly in front of me with a pride in his smile. This is why he had a convenience store. “I’d love to grab one of the stools at the bar” I replied, seeing inviting red comfy looking stools through the doorway that connected to the dining room to the left. It wouldn’t be surprising if the pizzeria used to be a house and they had turned the living room into a convenience store with drinks and confectioneries for the neighbourhood.
For some reason, wanting to sit at the bar seemed odd to him but he let me go. I couldn’t see why because people have refreshments at bars in restaurants all the time but maybe I had been a little more assertive than what he was accustomed.
Yeah, it was pretty clear why he thought the bar was strange as soon as I crossed to the dining area. Other than the renovations for the kitchen, the restaurant had kept most of its original walls and all of its charm. I couldn’t see it coming in but the bar was actually a counter overlooking the grills and cooking station, and was set along the narrow hall that connected the kitchen to the dining room. I don’t think that the counter is usually used by anyone other than staff, family members, hot plates and freshly boxed pizzas.
A man sitting on the first stool squinted his eyes at me as I passed by him. He could be the elder brother of the first guy I met coming in. He had the same concerning eyes. That is when I realised that I was still holding my bucket of tools. I swear this thing has become weightless to me. Who brings a bucket of tools inside? I usually leave it somewhere slightly out of sight.
You know me, I love to do things differently but it felt invasive and I don’t like making people uncomfortable. All I wanted was a drink and I didn’t think that they wanted any more movement on my part until they had figured me out so I took the third seat to his right and kicked my bucket of tools between the counter stools and out of everyone’s way.
The stools were very comfortable.
The squinting remained but he offered me a menu. “A pop would be perfect” I said along with “cans is what I have at home” when he told me that's all he had. I haven’t lost my good manners. He didn’t make it to the refrigerator though. His sister was waitressing and passing through when he stopped her and nudged his head in my direction. It might seem like he asked her to serve me but you’ll agree it was her women intuition he seeked. I was more than ready to make this all better and move forward.
“Can I offer you a menu?”
“I’d like to have a pop, that is all.” I didn’t want them to think that I wanted anything more from them. She went back and talked with her brother and that’s when I clued in that she was your cousin Understanding, from your Aunt Kindness. “I’ve been outside all day and the pop will cheer me right up.” I clarified.
“Of course it will, honey.” She was Understanding and putting an end to his concerns
Mama, have you ever changed your behaviour or questioned yourself because of someone else? I couldn’t blame them for practising caution. It’s hard not to make conclusions but it’s even harder not to trust your judgement. How do you manage it all?
Yeah, it was nice seeing everyone back to their routine. Even nicer to have witness a little fight in them. Nothing wrong with standing for something good. Have to admit, I did have it all wrong since the beginning. It was my first time in a fused concept and I’ll gladly remember to grab my own refreshment next time since all of their drinks are on display in the storefront. When I saw the elder of your cousins look over at clean glasses on his way back, I suggested that it wasn’t necessary with an easy-going attitude. He appreciated the gesture and invited me to stay as long as I wanted. And just like that, I had a first sip of my drink and was feeling better already. I think we all did.
Have you ever seen a Heart shine so brightly you can see it from outside? Neon can be seen in daylight. This whole time, straight above my head and in the middle of the restaurant’s logo was the glowing neon heart I had been looking to find. Are you surprised by your Aunt Kindness?
I know you would have wanted to say hi had you been with me but it was late and they were busy serving their other guests. Being enough of a disturbance today, I left a heart out of the napkins I didn’t use along with the change and left. Of course I forgot my bucket of tools at the restaurant and had to turn back. Luckily, I was not far.
Yes, cousins Gentle, Caring, and Understanding. Thought they’d recognized the heart I left and each welcomed me back with the smile I recognized earlier. “I knew you’d come back for this.” Gentle said and he was right. How can I garden without my tools?
I didn’t get to see Aunt Kindness but don’t be surprised if you get a call from her.
Let me know, and catch you later.