A Good Fucking Dude


I’ve bumped into him at the Oasis Diner counter
a handful of times
the type of guy who stands out
if you know what you’re looking for
kind
honest
gregarious
genuine
optimistic
he always interacts with the servers and staff
respectfully and with humor

the last time we were both here
I heard him talking about the spot in town
where he works as a waiter
my son, Caleb, used to work there too as a cook
so I asked the fella his name
“Donald,” he said
then, I said he may know my son
Donald remembered him and
we ended up talking about customer service,
the restaurant industry,
and being good to people
for maybe 20 minutes before he cut out
I told him he’d enjoy, Give ‘Em the Pickle, by old Bob Farrell
(R.I.P. Bob)

then, this late morning, when I was again writing up at the counter
he came in, sitting at his regular spot
“Hello, again!” he greeted me with a smile
I smiled back and returned a Sunday morning salutation
he asked me, “How’s your day going?”
in the way that I often answer smalltalk with bigtalk
I took a long, deep, introspective breath
“I want to answer you honestly… It’s an odd day
at the end of one of the hardest weeks of my life.
But, I’m doing my best.”
“Yeah, I get that. I’ve been getting absorbed into work
and not really doing much else.”

after a bit more chat, I said, “Please forgive me as I suck with names.
What is your first name again?”
“Donald,” he answered. “And tell me yours again? Luke, right?”
“Yup. Good memory.”
we chatted off and on for an hour as we both bullshat with the servers

then, I got an unexpected unction
that I felt inside
because you just don’t find that sort of person every day in life
maybe not even every year

I waited for a break in the action when he was about to leave
“Hey, Donald. May I ask you an odd question
that I haven’t asked so plainly
since probably second grade?”
“Sure,” he replied, adjusting himself in my direction with a look of intrigue
I said, “You seem like a good fucking dude.
Do you want to be friends?”
“Yes,” he answered, smiling
“So, how do we go about that?”
“Well, I guess just hit me up on Facebook. I’m easy to track down. The only Luke Austin Daugherty
on the planet, so far as I know.”

only a minute later he said,
“HA! We have some of the same friends. I just added you”
“Well, I guess cool people know cool people,” I said grinning

2/7/2021

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