Living math

I’m not sure what precipitates my new found acceptance: is it passing the four-month mark without turning tail and heading south? is it Bob’s new status? (If you know Bob, you’ll ask him about that; if you don’t know Bob, then you can’t feel left out about his news). Whatever it is….This morning, at Coffee Cabin, I was offered a stamp card. You know: buy six or eight or however many coffees, and get one free. This evening, as Henry House filled with the Friday evening crowd, I was gathering my belongings quickly, trying to vacate for the two women awaiting a a table. “But you don’t need to hurry!”one of the staff assured me as she gave me a quick hug. “You’re a regular!”


When do you cross that line, from total stranger to someone who may be new but now a permanent presence? (Being a fixture comes later, much later). In a school term, this passage has to be short, because the period of presence for everyone is finite. But in the “real world,” as teachers I had were wont to call out-of-school life, being a stranger in a place has more elasticity, always set by the culture of the place modified by the individual who is or isn’t able or willing to make that cross-over. It’s a math problem I have lived many times but have never been able to deconstruct to its operators.

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One Response to “Living math”

  1. Alicia Says:

    I got a frequent user card for the sandwich shop near the Y once and was surprised to find out they even had one. I set about diligently filling it. The owner seemed almost perplexed when I turned it in for my first free sandwich. Since then I haven’t been as eager to fill up my 2nd one.

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