So a couple of Saturday afternoons ago, The Boyfriend and I were sitting on a park bench in Lincoln Park.
No, we weren’t “eyeing the girls with bad intentions.”
It was just too beautiful a day to go inside and so we gabbed about nothing very important for an hour or so.
But as it neared 5 o’clock- the hour when my appestat goes off and wants to be fed- I got a craving for something snack-like.
Preferably with olives.
“Dinner’s not until 7:30. Let’s go over to Mariano’s and get some nibbles.”
The Boyfriend (an agreeable fellow at almost every turn) agreed.
So we got up off the park bench and slowly sauntered up Wellington headed to the new Mariano’s on Broadway.
Grocery Store Sidebar: OMG. Have you been there yet? This place isn’t a store. It’s a happening.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the happening.
TB felt in his pocket and…
“Damn it, I forgot my phone. I left it on the bench.”
We turned right around and headed back from whence we came.
Only this time we weren’t sauntering.
I can’t run because of an old ski accident injury.
But I broke into my best Walter Brennan imitation and hitched up the street as fast as my broken leg would take me.
As we neared the park entrance, TB spotted something.
“There’s a guy on the bench with a phone. I bet it’s mine.”
I frantically started to signal to the man.
“The phone?” I called out while I was waving my arms at him.
He was smiling sweetly when we pulled up in front of him.
“I knew you’d be back,” he said as he handed back where it belonged. “I had seen you two on the bench and I knew you’d return for it. ”
“I’m Ellen,” I said- holding out a grateful hand.
“I’m Josef,” he said as he shook it.
I detected a slight accent.
“May I ask where you’re from?”
“I’m from Switzerland,” he replied.
“It’s beautiful there,” I said.
“Yes, it is, but I live in Chicago now,” he answered.
I was glad that he did.
“It was VERY nice meeting you.”
TB thanked him from the bottom of his grateful heart (wouldn’t you?) and we turned and with chests still pounding from the awful “what if’s?” we started back west on Wellington.
So danke schön, Josef. You single-handedly saved the weekend from turning into a complete disaster.
And now it’s on to my day job, a memorial service for my mother and a quick trip.
I will bring you up to speed, Dear Readers, when I return on Sunday, October 16.
And here’s hoping if you ever forget your phone, a “Josef” will always give it back to you..