Saturday morning, New York City.
Sun is out. The breeze is cold and crisp.
The continental breakfast at the hotel just isn’t cutting it. (side note: What does “continental breakfast” even mean? There’s nothing from all the continents. There’s nothing exotic. What’s the deal?)
We must find a place with greasy meat and eggs.
We had passed a diner called Andrew’s Coffee Shop and thought that might be a good place to hit. Cute little place. Great food.
Of course, the waiter wants to know where we’re from with our thick accents. Me, mostly. He’s half smitten with Henry and his bubbly personality. He’s attentive and very personable. He goofs off with Henry saying in his big thick Jersey accent, “What chu doooin” and “Get outta heeeeah.” Henry’s eating it up!
We eat giant plates of pancakes, eggs, bacon, French toast… then he brings the check.
He comes back with change and looks at Henry and says out of the blue, “What do you think my name is?”
Who asks that? Strange.
“I’ll give you a hint,” he says. “It starts with a C.”
Jason and I look at each other, knowing. KNOWING what was about to come out of his mouth.
Henry says “Carl.”
The waiter says, “No. It’s CHARLIE.”
As tears fill my eyes and Jason’s eyes, Kaye and Henry giggle with Charlie and I hear nothing except him say, “He’s a real angel.”
Jason and I look at each other with sheer disbelief. Did he just say that? Was he talking about Henry? Or about our Charlie? He said it while looking at Henry. He didn’t say, “YOU’RE a real angel.” Interesting…
We talk about it later. About how strange it was that (a) he asked us to guess what his name was and (b) that it created that reaction from the two of us. We both admitted to thinking right then and there that if we went back and asked to sit in Charlie’s section, they would have no idea who we were talking about. That he was not actually there.
We agreed that going back would just freak us out.
Do things like that actually happen in real life? Could someone really have NOT been there to others and been there to us? I know it’s WAY far fetched, but that’s how it felt. Like once we left, he wasn’t there anymore. That it was just meant for us.
But that doesn’t explain how he was waiting on another table or how the people knew what we ordered.
It does further explain one thing, though.
Everybody loves a Charlie.