A few years ago, it may even be a full decade ago, time goes so fast that I can’t really be sure just off the top of my head like this, so I’ll just say that it wasn’t “recently” which is a word Wife uses often to describe any event she can remember, it seems, most often when she talks about movies that she’s seen even if I it’s been, say, three years, or so, although in this case, I’m not even trying to say it was recently, and now that I think about it, it must have been a good ten years ago because Sister-in-Law was probably single and since Wife and I celebrate – every day, mind you – now eleven years together, I was in the picture ten years ago, too, when, and I am slowly getting to the point here, she, Sister-in-Law, had this Sunday tradition of having brunch, or afternoon tea, I can’t be sure, with this one special fellow.
I do mean special in the dual meaning, both with and without the air quotes around the word, having heard Sister-in-Law talk about him, and having met him once at a party that she organized in a basement of an apartment building, with a friend of hers, I think, and since I’m a terrible crab eater, and mostly eat bread at those parties, I was hanging out at the chips bowl with this guy, talking about hockey probably, because that seems to be the topic I end up talking about at every party, at one point, after I’m done with Finland, and teaching people how you say “Can I have another one?” in Finnish – “Saisinko toisen” – so that we can all then laugh at the joke that’s really not that funny outside that context.
What was astonishing about their Sunday tradition was the fact that since neither one of them had a mobile phone, a feat that Sis actually managed to pull off until quite, um, “recently”, they always just made arrangements to meet at the same coffee shop at the same time the next Sunday, and one time, we were supposed to go somewhere or do something, and Sis couldn’t because she was supposed to meet that guy at the coffee shop that day and I remember her saying that if something was to happen to the guy, she might be the only one to suspect anything, only because he wouldn’t show up at the coffee shop on a Sunday.
And yes, I thought it was a little bit crazy, but in a cute way, because of course people should talk to each other, and make sure they can reach each other somehow if there’s something troubling them, or something, but having that routine may have been even more hugely important, because it creates some structure, and it was their thing, and whatever was said in that coffee shop on Sundays stayed in the coffee shop on Sundays, because there was nothing else between the Sundays in the coffee shop, but they both seemed so committed, although maybe they weren’t or maybe something else happened because they’re not going to meet at the coffee shop this Sunday, as far as I know, although it’s really none of my business, and that was probably the best part of it all: that it wasn’t anybody’s business but theirs. So I should just stop.