by Pa Rock
Sentimental Old Fool
T minus three days and counting.
Time grows very short before I board that big silver bird and head overseas. I realize with each passing hour that I am saying goodbye to the people and places that I have known intimately for the past three years.
Yesterday I said goodbye to going to my office to work on the weekend. That shit ain't gonna happen anymore! Three of my co-workers were there playing catch-up from the previous week, and it was nice to share a little last-minute camaraderie with them. It has been really great working with the folks at Luke.
Today I had breakfast as the Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru and said goodbye to my young friend, Jaime. We shook hands and he wished me well in my travels. Jaime is on the front end of his travels, while I, alas, am starting one of my last laps around the globe.
After breakfast I went to the gym where I was greeted at the front desk by Mary, a mature lady who learned my name early on and always welcomed me with a "Hi, Rocky, How are you today?" I remain fine, Mary, and I will miss your friendly greetings as I visit my new gym on Okinawa.
My next stop was the Dickinson Theatre in Palm Valley. I used to live close enough to that small multi-plex to walk to the show from my apartment, and after I moved to the Wheezin' Geezer, I kept up the practice of going to the movies there. My best friend there is a little elderly lady who tears the tickets and tells people to enjoy the show. She always remembers me and says something like, "It's nice to see you again this week." My ticket-tearer wasn't there today, so I didn't get to tell her goodbye. I hope that she is okay.
Trivia: The Dickinson Theatre Chain owned the Ozark Theatre in Noel many years ago when I worked there. Later, in college, I worked at the Tower Theatre in Springfield, Missouri - also another Dickinson property. I am glad that they continue to thrive and to give so many young people jobs. I'm sure that their pay is as piss-poor as what I received back in the dark ages, but those are the types of places where we learn the joys of serving the public and sweating in shared sacrifice.
I will be very busy the next two days getting all of my work clearance papers signed, doing last minute banking chores, attending a briefing about my airline connections to Okinawa, serving up pizza to all of my friends at work, and saying goodbye.
It is very hard to say goodbye. I'm not saying "so long for now," or "I'll be seeing you." I'm saying goodbye.
Time grows short...I'm leaving...and I'm not coming back.
Deal with it, Arizona!