Sunday, February 25, 2007

Good Will Shopping

Sunday morning Mike called up to verify that we were indeed getting together to catch up on events and stuff our faces, so after a certain amount of figuring out logistics, I trotted on my merry way to the gym. I virtuously spent my proscribed 45 minutes on the aerobic machines, took a shower and headed out the door to meet up with Mike.

I called Mike and after agreeing on a meeting place, I sallied off to Davis Square in search of brunch. Mike had suggested a place, Mr. Crepe. The idea of crepes quickly supplanted Eggs Benedict, since I honestly cannot remember the last time I had crepes. Mike went for the sundried tomato and pesto number and I had one that featured goat cheese, mango chutney and chicken. We were both equally pleased and the coffee was quite good. (Not to mention the busboy, who looked like he'd be pretty tasty too) We managed to get a fair amount of catching up and gossiping in over lunch. Mike caught me up on his new life in Somerville after living for a year in Dorchester in a not particularly nice neighborhood. The change seems to have been really good for him and he seems happier and more focused than he has ever since to move out of JP and into Dot.

Good as the food was, Mr. Crepe was not really conducive to lingering and Sunday brunch time anywhere isn't really the best time to have a leisurely meal anyway. However we haven't seen each other for a while, so more visiting seemed in order. Mike suggested heading off to Goodwill. Once again, an experience I have not indulged in, in quite some time. So off we trotted down the street to Goodwill. I really have to hit thrift stores more often. I had pretty much forgotten that you really can come upon just about anything in second hand stores. Even if you don't buy anything it is just a visual feast. Strange things from your past will peek out at you, books that you have never heard of and probably wouldn't even glance at ordinarily while perusing the shelves in a bookstore, clothes you wouldn't be caught dead in and yet are so much fun to look at. Second hand stores have a narrative effect that you don't get in regular retail stores. These things were once part of someone else's life and can convey stories. Bad gifts? Beloved treasures? How and why did these objects land in Goodwill finally, where they would begin a whole new life and perhaps wind up back in Goodwill someday. It reminds me of a Neil Gaiman short story, where an elderly lady buys a bowl at an Oxfam shop, that turns out to be the Holy Grail. Mike wound up with a snazzy new/old blue plaid wool jacket and I walked out with a long sleeve t-shirt and a new aloha shirt. (The Ganome has an extensive collection and is weak in the presence of cut rate loud shirts, though this one was rather staid, it was none the less irresistable)

Then it was off to see Mike's new digs. The place is a cooperative living arrangement and reminded me of my own funky Cambridge days. If it is shabby and falling apart it is in a way that I found sort of comforting in that it brought back a lot of fun memories for me. It seems to suit Mike fine, and we had a very comfortable time sitting in the kitchen, comparing notes on life, weighing in with our opinions of men in general as well as a couple of particulars, murmuring vaguely about our plans for our neighboring gardens this summer and just chatting about nothing in particular. I had a great time and I hope Mike did as well. It reminded me of some of the many reasons why I enjoy his friendship and makes me look forward to the summer all the more, since it means we will probably see more of each other, just by virtue of spending time in the garden. Finally, it was time for me to move along home and Mike to meet up with one of his lucky dating contestants. He walked me to Davis Square station, and we said our good byes with the rather optimistic hope that we would see each other before the gardening season really began. All in all a nice way to while away a lazy Sunday. What more could you ask for?