Sunday, March 25, 2018

Dinner with the banker

I hesitate to refer to this evening's dinner companion as a banker (though that is indeed his profession) not because there is anything especially offensive about bankers - not the way for example one hears nasty quips about lawyers and real estate agents - but I hesitate to call people by name when writing about them in this public forum.  Some people are understandably reluctant to submit to public accounts of any description.  Though I haven't any intention of saying anything diminishing about the gentleman, I acknowledge that for whatever reason even the most benign allusion can unwittingly become pernicious.  Therefore to avoid any possibility of contamination I shall only say that late this afternoon I received a telephone call from a chap whom I first met and last saw about thirty years ago.  He and his wife now live nearby in Florida; he said he had an opportunity to drive here for a short visit.  Naturally I welcomed him.  Because my friend advised his window of latitude was limited to about three hours we decided to head directly to a resaturant for a bite to eat while engaging ourselves in catching up.

My friend is 5 years my junior.  He's just on the cusp of that traditional turning point into seniority at age 65 years.  I discovered this evening that part of the reason for his emigration from Canada to Florida was that parents on both sides of him and his wife were Americans.  This naturally partly explains the transition since it facilitated to a small extent the application for Green Cards (permanent resident applications). Though we heard several stories about my friend's awakening banking career in Florida, and about his involvement in his local Masonic Lodge (a fraternity of which we are both longtime members) I couldn't escape the more interesting explanation of why the man had made the effort to see me after all these years.  Our association was never far above that of acquaintances (and I certainly had virtually no professional dealings with him in Almonte when he lived there), but somehow we've remained in touch with one another.  I suspect the primary reason for the contact is our Masonic Lodge association, compelled to a degree by my friend's unexpected discovery on the internet that I had written a History of Mississippi Lodge No. 147 (our mother lodge) since its incorporation on March 19, 1861.  That however does not fully explain the trouble he took to rally after all these years.  Frankly I am not certain that even now I know any more about the reason.  But in any event what matters is that we had a most agreeable evening together. When he was at his car and preparing to leave to return home he suggested that next time we might foregather in a local Lodge.  I assured him this will never happen, explaining that my curmudgeonly attitude has overtaken me to the extent that almost any social convention (other than one-on-one) is out of the question. For the moment I am satisfied to retain the favourable memory of this evening's reunion; and possibly to reactivate the alliance at some future date. But my increasingly hardened disposition forbids me to contemplate anything other than serendipity.

Earlier this afternoon my partner and I repeated our constitutional exercise (a brief walk) and then reposed in the comfortable chairs under the pergola beside the pool. There we amused ourselves with gandering upon our iPhones, dozing in the late afternoon heat and staring at the sea.  Rapidly the clicks of our agenda here are mutating and dissolving.  Whatever happens now is unmeasured and oddly powerful. The magic of existence - like the inexplicable foundation of the fortuitous visit from my friend - spills its marvellous and seemingly unwarranted reward upon our being.

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