Now I have my regular seat in this shop, over at the window in back. But yesterday there was another guy in my seat. This sometimes happens. And Jose ribbed me about it, too. So I sat at the next empty table. I often use this strategem - parking myself next to my regular seat so I can pounce on it the moment anyone in it leaves.
So as I was taking leave of Mike, two of the regulars, Nancy and Geraldine enter. Nancy is probably my favorite regular. She reminds me a bit of St Francis as portrayed by Katzanzakis at the end of his St. Francis book - a person simply caught up in the ecstasy of life, bold, uninhibited, wise, and at times positively embarrassing. She is as likely to burst into song, or dance around the shop, or gather us all for prayer, as make some profound point. She sports super-blond hair, is always dressed in stylish, attractive, and very flashy cloths, with shoes and hats and eye-glasses to match. NO matter what the topic, from personal life to books to news events or personal finances, Nancy has something intelligent to add. Of course, she may just follow this with a dance, or a group prayer.
Today rthe topic was John Steinbeck. Nancy had read all of his books. She said her favorite was Travels with Charley. She also liked The Pearl. Geraldine preferred the Grapes of Wrath. I asked them whether they had read The Red Pony. The hadn't so I briefly outlined the plots of the four stories. geraldine wondered whether they fit together, and we discussed how they did.