It was a frightfully dreadful day in the minds of most Americans, but not we British, when all the sudden my life changed. How so, you say? Let me tell you how.
I just left may apartment for work and stood in the doorway waiting for my workmate, Rudy. He lived a block away and we always walked to work together and chatted about the most delightful things, mainly about England, fair England, football, gardening, and the latest royal scandals.
It was dreadful weather, bitter and drizzle thick as pea soup.
Rudy showed up in a hurried pace as though the Queen herself were around the corner. “Let’s hurry, ole chum,” he said. “We’ll catch our death of cold.”
“Tut, tut,” I said. “We’re British. We were bred for this type of weather.”
Well, we walked at a brisk pace in spite of the fact I was constantly trying to slow Rudy down.
“We shall be tardy,” he said. “That’s not very British of us. A Brit is always punctual.”
“I suppose so,” I said. “But there is something quite persuasive about being in the drizzle. It’s not quite rain and it’s more than mist. It is perfect.”
Well Rudy was not one to be waylaid for no reason whatsoever, punctual to a fault he was.
As our strides took on the form of a power walk something quite curious caught my attention, a neatly folded piece of paper. It looked as though it came from one of those legal pads.
“Look,” I said. “That could be something of grave concern for someone. We should retrieve it and if at all possible see to it that it is returned to its proper owner.”
“It is nothing more than a piece of paper,” Rudy said. “Let’s hurry or we’ll miss the light and have to wait in the rain for it to change.”
“What if you had lost notes to an important meeting and they were on a discarded piece of paper,” I said. “And they were found by a stranger and returned to you. Would you not be grateful?”
“No,” Rudy said. “And for the sake of brevity and not soaking ourselves to the bone please don’t ask me to explain,”
“But later, Rudy, I will expect an explanation from you.”
“Of course,” Rudy said. “And in the time that it takes us to get to the office I will have prepared one for you which will leave no room for rebuttal. Now let’s make haste.”
“You go ahead, Rudy” I said. “I shall retrieve the paper from the sidewalk before it becomes so wet it is unintelligible blurred rubbish.”
“I shall see you at work,” Rudy said. “And prepare your own explanation for your tardiness.”
Just as the paper was lifted from the sidewalk I looked up to catch sight of Rudy dashing to beat the change in the traffic signal. It abruptly changed unnoticed by Rudy and he was struck full force by a bus. It appeared to be immediate death. He just sort of flopped lifelessly and not so much of a muscle twitched. I looked at the note and it read, “Your life is about to change.” I reflected a moment and said, “For certain.”
Well, don’t you get the point, ole chap? If I’d gone with Rudy, I’d be dead, but I’m alive. What is more life changing than that.
Oh yes, the Americans I work with thought it was such a miserable day that I hadn’t the heart to tell them Rudy would not be making it to work. I reserved that bit of information for a much more pleasant day.