My sister, a dear friend of ours and I all went out to a little Italian restaurant for my birthday meal. I order my favorite Manicotti, which is freakishly delicious, and the fabulous tortellini soup. The food, as always, is scrumptious, but just as wonderful is the surprise entertainment we encounter. I guess I’ve never been to the restaurant on a Tuesday night at 8 PM, and we happened to sit in an area that was being serenaded by an older gentleman. Apparently, a gaggle of people come in every Tuesday, all old friends that have been frequenting the establishment for a number of years. After they have their meals, the one old guy starts singing show tunes for everyone, and I guess this is the weekly tradition. “Sing for your dinner” kind of thing. His beautiful baritone wafts through the house, and everyone on our side of the building claps their approval after every song is sung. He sings an old show tune, part of a romantic ballad, and then something in Italian. He crescendos and vibrattos and makes a delicious meal even more charming, with his enthusiastic performance to a familiar and well loved audience.
After the old crooners leave and we finish our meal, we start to walk across the street to the cyber café. I’m in the mood for a good round of foozball, and then some serious Facebooking. My Super Poke Pet is probably dirty and lonely. Walking part way across the street, I spy something shiny at my feet. I don’t know how I happen to see the glint of metal, as it is well past eight o’clock, and the sun has already put itself to bed. Yet somehow, with my less than eagle eyesight, I catch the little nod of a piece of something, winking up at me. Quickly, before the public bus can squash the Manicotti out of me, I snatch up my little find and scurry into the café, twirling this something in my hand. At first I think my new treasure might be a sobriety medal, which I find sad and funny at the same time, as the café is but two doors down from a bar. “Oh no,” I think, “the old guy just couldn’t pass up the weeknight special one day more”. It would be a sort of tragedy, and so much a part of life if it were true.
In the light of the café, however, I notice that this something in my hand is worn and bent, dented and scratched. Looking at it closer, I see it is a St. Christopher medal. Or maybe I’m forgetting, I did show it to the man at the counter, perhaps he was the one who declared it the medal. Either way, it seemed a good find, and almost everyone I’ve told this story to has shared the sentiment: this is a sign of fortune. Good luck. The medal was meant for me.
And though I am not a Catholic or a Christian, I am spiritual. I do seem to have a connection to the “other side”, and it doesn’t really surprise me that a token of blessing would find its way into my hands. Nor does it surprise me that it should find it’s way to me via a pothole in the middle of a busy street that is home to a yummy restaurant, a comic book shop, a tattoo parlour and a bar. I could have found a nice shiny St. Christopher medal, that was new and unworn. But I like the fact that mine is beat to hell. It’s like someone used up all the three wishes out of the Jeanie bottle, and dropped the bottle to run off on their next adventure, leaving the treasure behind for the next guy. It’s a little worse for the wear, but I imagine if this medal could talk it would have many stories and adventures to share. And as I tucked it into my coin purse, and headed out into the night air, I started to think about all the new adventures that lay before me, and the many more stories it was about to absorb.