Not just any stonewall. A wall in downtown Concord, NH.
Every Thursday I have a standing hair appointment. It sounds so basic, I know. But my Grandmother was grey at a young age and I’m not ready to go there quite yet. These ladies know just how I like my color, that I don’t need a massage, but that I love to visit and catch up. We eat, we laugh, we visit, hear about each others lives. Regular coffee talk. Minus the coffee.
On my way there I see the same group of people sitting outside the Clock Tower as I always do. We exchange pleasantries, say hello, and go about our day.
It’s on my way home the magic happens.
My buddy Kevin plays the guitar. He yells “HI KATIE!” to me from across the street. He waves and smiles like I’m the only person he has seen all day. And, every time I see him, he moves over on that stonewall and makes a seat for me. I sit down, I visit, he and his buddies fill me in on what’s going on in town. We talk about the small things and the seemingly big things, which are of course all relative.
Today he was right in front of the State House, depending on the time of day and what’s going on in town is a pretty normal occurrence. There were dogs, and families, new bikes, old bikes, and per usual, he moved over, made me a seat and we sat down and talked. There was a ceremony on the State House steps and men in uniform walked by and saluted him and thanked him for his service. Today, Kevin was decked out in his military clothes. I also thanked him for his service.
And, he told me it was an honor to serve his country.
He told me about combat and where he was in the world, what he saw, and the kind of friends he made. He told me about how he left everything behind and when he came home nothing was as he remembered it. He’s a pretty private person and will only give little tidbits at a time about his life but I love hearing it and he knows everyone in town and their story too.
These guys stick together. They know where each other are most of the time. If someone’s missing, it’s because this or that. They care about each other and are proud to call Concord home.
When it got way too busy, the Introvert in me took over, and I said my goodbyes and he told me to be safe. We don’t even high five. It’s just an understanding, thanks for being here, nice to see you, hope to see you again next time.
With a wave and a big smile that was it. Until, we meet again my friend.