It is my habit to stop at Tim Hortons for coffee on the way into work in the mornings. I could make coffee at home but I like the routine of stopping at Tim Hortons.
Sonya was behind the counter. I call Sonya ‘The Twin’ because I do not believe one single human being can be as ditzy as Sonya. The only explanation is that Sonya is one half of a pair of really dopey identical twins. Let me explain.
Sonya has served me at ten minutes after five almost every morning of the work week for the better part of a year. I always buy an extra large coffee, black, no sugar or cream.
Sometimes, in spite of what I order and have ordered every day for the past twelve months, I might get a hot chocolate, sometimes I get a medium coffee, double double, and sometimes, lo and behold, I even get what I asked for. I don’t complain because I like Sonya. She is always cheerful and happy to see me. I usually get a story about her dog or her grandchildren or she tells me something her husband has done.
”That man! You wouldn’t believe what he did. What causes him to act such a silly fool, oh I just don’t know.”
‘Oh, I can guess, Sonya. He’s been married to you for forty years. Poor guys is prob’ly brain dead by now,’ I think to myself but decline to say.
Yesterday I stopped in as usual, ordered my extra large black coffee, got a large coffee with one cream, and tried to pay for it with my debit card. Here in Canada the banks issue what they call a debit card. The merchant runs the plastic card through a scanner just like they would a regular credit card. The customer then plugs in a “PIN” number and his or her bank account is debited the amount specified by the purchase.
Sounds simple enough. Right? Only I couldn’t remember my PIN number, a number I use several times a day. Finally I did recall some working digits but they were for a defunct account I have not used in months. The machine’s digital read out curtly told me I had INSUFFICIENT FUNDS to cover the purchase.
“Ah, never mind,” Sonya said. “You can pay me tomorrow. When we hit sixty it seems we can never remember all the things we used to. I do the same thing all the time. Yesterday when I went home an unlocked my door I left the keys right there in the lock. Can you imagine that?”
“Sixty! Sonya, I have to explain, I ain’t sixt…”
“It‘s all right, dear. Just stop by tomorrow and we’ll straighten everything out then.”
I thanked her and scuttled out the door. When I was in the car I pulled down the visor and looked at myself in the little vanity mirror. Sixty. Do I really look like I’m sixty?
Then I had to laugh. Maybe I look like I’m sixty to Sonya, but then Sonya can’t tell a blueberry fritter from a pecan butter tart. I tilted my head back and peered at my reflection over my bifocals…nah, I don’t look one day over fifty-four.