Meet Gum & Joe. I just did. Well, maybe not met, but we had our moment. As my bus approached Tully’s I had my camera ready to capture whoever might be at the window counter seats. And there they were...waiting for me.
The first shot, they didn’t catch me. The second they definitely saw what I was up to, and by the third they were having as much fun with it as I was. I would love to know what one of them said to make them laugh so hard. (click on the photo to get a better look)
So, here’s their story:
Gum & Joe had been morning coffee buddies since long before the gentrification of the humble bean. They’d spent years, about 25 of them, driving little children back and forth to school and then driving the children of these children back and forth, too. In a little town where everyone knows everyone, they even got the occasional graduation or wedding invitation.
They retired the same year, at the school district’s insistence, and without regret. They had plans...for fishing, for playing with their grandchildren, but mostly for planting themselves in their respective plaid Herculon Lazy Boys.
But, things don’t always go according to plan. Mrs. Gum and Mrs. Joe, over the driving back and forth years, had developed the same deep affection for their domestic routines as for their faded pink slippers. It wasn’t a lack of fondness for their thoroughly broken-in husbands. They just wanted the houses to themselves.
So, Gum and Joe easily fell back into their routine of morning coffee. Now, instead of a quick cup of bitter black in a Styrofoam cup in the break room, they vied with the other regulars for the window seats and the morning newspaper, and shared old stories and new jokes over grande split shot americanos. And every once in a while something noteworthy happened. Something they could tell to their wives over tuna-salad sandwich lunches. Something like a curious woman riding by on the bus shining her camera at them.