No Toast

I bought a loaf of my favourite bread over the weekend on a usual trip to SaveOn with Hannah. My plan was to leave half the loaf in the freezer at the Main House so that I have some of my favourite bread when I am over there, and bring the other half to St. Mark's where, combined with the half a loaf I had there, it would last me the week.

But when I packed up Sunday morning to depart the Main House, I forgot to pack my half loaf of bread and had no bread for breakfast this Wednesday morning.

Pam Brinkley and I went to Red Star for a beer last night. On Tuesday nights she has a book-study group in west Edmonton and since she lives in the south end of town, it doesn't make sense for her to go home after work. We decided to make it a standing date to go out for the 90 minutes or so between the end of the work day on Baker 11 and her heading west for her study group.

It was unusual for Kenna to be working Tuesday night at Red Star. I'd overheard her say so to table next to the high-top where Pam and I were sitting, but it didn't sink in until just now. Normally, Rebecca works Tuesdays. Rebecca even said so one night. "You don't usually come in on Tuesdays," she said.

It wasn't a busy night, but Kenna didn't linger long when she served us. I imagine this is because Pam is a stranger to her, unlike Sometimes Someone with whom she will chat for as long as one possibly can when you are the only server working in a bar. Pam and I talked about the changing situation at work. We are in yet another phase of re-organization and it is starting to wear on people, even SMF and I. She commented on a recent presentation I gave at a divisional meeting about working at our branch.

"The only part I didn't fully believe was the last slide on the people," she said, referring to a slide describing "why our culture is great". I said that I knew what she meant. We both remember the first year or so that I joined our Branch and what it was like working there then. So few of us remain that the social experience has changed significantly for us.

"I realized when I was writing it," I told her, "that I was writing as much from memory as I was from the present."

Pam was time pressured by her study group and had to depart before either of us had finished our beers. "Go, go," I told her. When she tried to leave money for her beer I argued, "If we're doing this every Tuesday now, you just pay next week." And then I asked if I could finished her beer. She seemed amused by the ask because it reminded both of us of a meeting last week which I was late for and had run from South Petroleum Plaza to attend. I was parched when I arrived and asked to drink the only glass of water that was on the meeting table.

"I've already taken a drink from it," Pam had said.

"Can I drink it anyway?" I replied, and she gave it to me.

Pam departed and I made some notes on my iPad while I finished our beers. Kenna asked if I wanted another Guinness but I told her I'd just finish up what we had left and she offered to bring me the bill. When she returned, Kenna was carrying the cheque folder and a to-go box.

Connected to Red Star and sharing the same kitchen is a small coffee shop, Lock Stock, which serves specialty coffees and various baked goods. Lock Stock closes before Red Star opens, and sometimes has left overs from their business day.

"Here is an apple cinnamon scone," Kenna said, patting the top of the to-go box lid. "A little something for your breakfast tomorrow."