He sat, checked his watch. He sighed. Give it another half hour.
He looked at the faces all around; some he knew, many he didn’t. Glanced around the place and viewed people smiling, laughing, some in deep discussions, some glancing at the televisions all around. Thought about what might be upcoming, then pushed it out of his mind as if to say, “no, don’t think about it, because then you will start to worry.” But it didn’t go completely away, and then he rewound in his mind the past few hours.
How he spent way too long trying to figure out what to wear. Changed the shirt of choice three different times. Made sure he had everything he needed, particularly his wallet. Had to have the wallet. Made sure he had the right cologne, even put just a little on-not too much, because you don’t want people to smell you coming before you get there. And as he was just about ready to head out the door, seeing the text message. A delay. Not sure how long. But definitely would make every effort to show. Then the decision. Stay where he was and wait for word…or be optimistic that the delay would be short and wait at the agreed meeting place?
He chose optimism…and that optimism found him sitting, checking his watch ninety minutes later. Still no word, other than a couple updates that the delay was still ongoing. The excitement that built earlier had definitely begun to wane, but it hadn’t left completely. So, he was patient. He waited.
As the minutes ticked by, he wondered. What were all his other friends doing tonight. Wondered if their nights were going better than his. Sensed the doubt and felt the negative thoughts in his head, about how his life compared to everyone else’s-especially those he was looking at around him. Then quickly remembered that attitude, that sentiment had no place in reality; you can’t compare yourself to others, because somewhere you will always fall short. Had a couple brief conversations with people sitting nearby. Saw an acquaintance; held another brief conversation. Small talk mostly. And the minutes ticked on….
….then another message. Not tonight. Need to reschedule. Profuse apologies. He grabbed the menu and ordered. Just another night of bad to worse luck. Coincidence, or chance, or whatever, conspired to rob him of what he was looking for. Disappointed, for sure….but ate his meal. Picked up the check. Sent the message that all was well, and that when it does happen, all the missteps, missed connections and mishaps would make the eventual ending worth the wait.