I didn't really meet Hoss. I met a guy named Devin. He told me I could call him "Hoss" which I found hysterically funny and now the next time I go to my favorite breakfast place in Springfield, I might not remember his real name.
For now, I remember that it's Devin because I just met him an hour ago.
It's rainy and the Farmer's Market takes place every Saturday right in front of Cafe Moxo where I was meeting up with my friends Jane and Susan. People in education know how hard it is to get together during the school year but this one is winding down and we have 2 days left next week. Susan is returning to school for her PhD and is moving away so we made time to get together, catch up, and have a final goodbye before she leaves.
Let's get back to Hoss. This is the only other Hoss I know and he's from Bonanza which hardly counts as being someone I know.
After ordering a black and white mocha from Devin he asked how my day was and I gave the standard, "Fine, thanks." Then, he reached across the glass bakery shelf and extended his hand to shake mine. "Hi, I'm Devin." Since I was entirely open to meeting someone new in my life, I extended my hand back and said, "Hi, Devin! I'm Kelly." He made a beautiful design in my coffee drink and I made my way to the table where my friends were.
The ladies and I chatted for a bit and then Devin started cleaning off tables in our section and came by again. It's because he used my name that I used his again.
"How is everything, Kelly?"
"It's great! I loved the coffee you made me by the way."
We exchanged more pleasantries and then he returned to the kitchen area.
If you work long enough in education, everyone you know is a former student. At least, that's the way in works in this town. One time I started counting up the number of people I've met in my nearly 2 decades of working in schools and when I got to 10,000 I stopped counting. Let's just say I know a lot of people.
Jane asked, "Is that a former student of yours?"
"Nope. I just met him 20 minutes ago when I ordered my food."
They gave me that look that said they know me well enough to know I can make a new friend anywhere. It's true. I'm not sure what it is about my face that tells people to start talking to me. He came back again and I asked him if he could make me another one even though Cafe Moxo is the kind of place where you have to get up to place an order and then pay immediately.
"If you make me another one I promise to come up and pay later."
"Sure! I'll be right back."
Except when he got back I asked him to sit down at our table and then I learned that he moved here for a relationship that didn't work out and that he's gone to barista school and interior design school and that he just started working for Moxo recently but is also taking engineering courses. Devin is my kind of people.
He brought me my second black and white mocha and told me it was on the house. It pays to be nice to people and met them where they're at but not because of free coffee.
Because, people. You know?
I wish I could travel to world to meet them all, tell some stories, and connect. It sounds like a crazy dream of an idea, but I keep coming back to this: people.