Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy People Dwell in Faneuil Hall

I was killing time downtown after an appointment I had got delayed today, so I decided to grab a bite at Quincy Market. I managed to score one of the coveted low tables with a seat. Across the table from me, and old man was telling a couple of tourists about the wonders of train travel. Once the visitors got up, I knew the old man was going to chat me up. Since my mind was on the meeting and the astronomical parking fee I was going to have to pay, I kept my responses short.

Midway through my meal, a bald guy took a seat across the table from me, next to the old man.

"How are you today?" He asked me.

"Good," I said, taking a bite of my pizza. As he sat quietly, I felt kind of bad for not keeping the conversation going.

"How are you?" I asked as he was between bites on his sausage, egg, and cheese on croissant.

"Stupendous," bald guy replied emphatically.

"That's a pretty bold statement for such a rainy day."

"Hey, at least it's not snowing!" Bald guy said with a smile.

The old man had clearly found a kindred spirit in this happy bald guy, and started talking to him about his cross-country trek on Amtrak.

"They named me Traveler of the Week," the old man told the bald guy.

"That's wonderful," said bald guy.

I watched as the duo enthusiastically discussed Boston sports teams and the old man's work with the sports teams in his California community.

"Making people happy is what makes me happy," old man said. "I always say that happiness is an inside job."

"You have to be right here," bald guy said, pointing to his heart, "before you can be happy for the world."

With that, I politely excused myself, tossed my trash, and went to check out the ironic t-shirts at Urban Outfitters. That much happiness on a rainy afternoon was enough to make me lose my overpriced and underflavored mall food lunch.


Got 2 Trot Librarian said...

Haha, that would have made me nauseous too. (Pointing to my stomach.)

Max Fischer said...

Admittedly, I can be one cynical bastard. I've goota say, however, that as goddam precious as this story is, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wonder how old train travel guy is. perhaps he lived through the great depression and is able to put our current malaise into proper perspective. After all, we don't have prohibition to contend with. We can booze our way back to prosperity.