The hidden years in Canada 183, tough Bill Haybe

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Sunday 13 September 13:24

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Tough Bill Haybe

It had been busy and to be honest I had enjoyed very little sleep. The breakfast was done and I was glad I was not really the busboy anymore. When the last tables were cleared and I took off my apron, Bill came in. ‘No hey,’ he said, ‘I'm late again for breakfast? ‘What do you call late,’ I said as I sat down at a table near him, ‘there are an incredible number of bits of left overs that will just be thrown away.’ My feet were tired of racing intensely back and forth. ‘It obviously does not reach the standard of Moose and eggs', and we both began to chuckle. Shirley came over and looked at Bill with interest, ‘who is your friend,’ she asked? I understood that it was more than professional interest. ‘My boss,’ I replied, ‘and also friend of course.’ Bill looked at my bed mate with due attention. ‘Introduce me at least, Shirly said. Bill got up, ‘Bill Haybe he said solemnly,’ to serve you.‘ Hey, I thought, she wraps him up easily. ‘So Bill baby, you seem to me a real man, smiled flirty Shirley’ and how will you serve me? ‘Poor Bill, he blushed from ear to ear. ‘As you wish,’ he muttered. ‘I might be free tonight,’ laughed Shirley ‘and I could use a bit of distraction, I've been waiting so long for a real man, Would big Bill fancy a cup of coffee and some food and his boy too,’ she said teasingly. Bill could only nod.

‘That's a real lady,’ was Bill and he gave me a wink. ‘I'm spoken for tonight.’ I had an inner chuckle, I could have told him about the mole under her right breast but it seemed wiser not to share that information. ‘That could well be, Bill,’ I said, ‘I estimate that is the way it is 'and I thought that I should leave today because my bed would be occupied. Shirley came back with two full plates on a tray and two mugs of coffee. ‘I have to clean up and then I'll come and sit with you,’ Shirley announced. Bill looked with approval at his plate with lots of eggs and bacon. ‘You know what eggs do to you, hey Billy’ asked flirty Shirley. Bill almost choked in his sip of coffee. ‘I believe so,’ he muttered as he only hung on her lips, as if he had to lip-read everything. ‘That,’ said Shirley, brings everything right up in a man. ‘ Bill went a deep red and nodded.  ‘I like that,’ continued Shirley, ‘I’ll come back,’ and she walked away.

‘All done with the truck,’ I asked between bites. ‘Like new,’ affirmed Bill. ‘I've also visited the office and we have a nice offer, something that you really can not refuse.’ ‘So,’ I said as I rinsed my mouth with coffee. Bill once let out a burp behind his hand, 'let's just deal with old business first, ‘he thought and felt in his pocket and came out with an envelope. ‘This is equivalent to six weeks icy lakes driving,’ he began. ‘Can I have my ‘I owe you’ back?’ I looked at the note, ‘I owe You 'that I could have used to claim $ 1,000 in case something would have happened to Bill. ‘So,’ Bill said, ‘right across’, ‘this is for you.’ I took it and said, 'thank you. Bill chuckled and asked, ‘do you not want to count it. ‘ ‘No,’ I said, 'that's not necessary, ‘we had driven together over creaking glacial lakes, slipped, stood in the cold, almost rushed into the abyss. No, I did not have to count it. ‘Well,’ Bill said, ‘for what it's worth, there is four thousand dollars in it.’ ‘Bloody hell,’ I ventured, ‘that's a lot!’. Bill shook his head, ‘not for the hours we have made, but you know, money always compensates a lot.’ He looked at me, ‘For the record,’ he continued, ‘there was obviously a total of $ 16 000, but 50% were for me, because it was my contract and 25% for taxes and maintenance of the truck and therefore 25%  goes to you as agreed.

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Those were 10 monthly wages of a few months ago in the building, it was unimaginable. ‘Gee thanks Bill,’ I said, ‘this solves a lot for me.’ Bill laughed again, ‘no,’ he said, ‘no thanks required, you have earned this. Now I want to talk about the next rides, we have a contract to go to the American Alaska, which is only a little further to the West, there are some risks involved and .. ‘I chuckled, it would be dangerous, with no doubt and I stopped him. ‘No, I said, 'if I do so, I'll keep doing this all my life, I want to do other things,’ Bill looked at me sincerely surprised,' what kind of things, ‘he asked? I want to go back to Europe and go to college and give my life direction, ‘I said earnestly,’ too much has happened here, I would be a wandering soul here. ‘Why study,’ said Bill and he gave a blow on the table, then you learn what you already know. ‘ ‘Because I want to,’ I said, 'sorry Bill,' thank you for everything, but no, do not count on me.‘ ‘Sure,’ he asked, ‘think again, I ask you no more.’ ‘I do not think so,’ I replied, ‘I know what I want’ He held out his hand and when I shook, ‘he said,’ good luck. ‘We pumped ur hands up and down and I said, ‘thanks for everything, you don’t  know how important you've been these six weeks, the best, I will not forget you’ and so I got up and walked out of his life and for my mental eye, now 45 years later, he still drives combinations over glacial lakes, laughing and looking away, never aging, timeless.

I did not look back, I just walked out the door and got into the Pontiac, I turned the key over and broke with it, all old ties of the rotten country. On to the travel agent, I thought and the rumble of the V8 deep in the exhaustpipes escorted me.

San Daniel 2015

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