I absolutely love eccentric people. Most people I know would even call me eccentric. I’ve always wanted to be know as the “cat lady” or the woman with more books than sense. Or the lady who collects stones and gems and tarot cards. Or that strange lady who wears so many bracelets. Ha! Just call me weird, odd, strange… I don’t mind at all!
There was this one woman who came into the restaurant where I was a waitress. She was a retired literature or music school teacher, I cannot remember which now. From what I learned about her, she was never married and lived alone. She always walked a good distance from her home to the restaurant, never accepting rides from people. She would sit at the bar, order either hot or iced coffee (depending on the weather) and a modest meal. She worked on cross-word puzzles or read books while she ate. Sometimes she even talked to herself. None of the other waitresses liked to wait on her, but I found her quirkiness delightful. She became one of my favorite patrons.I simply knew her as Ms. Hartman. Not Miss or Mrs, but Ms. She stressed that on our first encounter.
Sometimes if it wasn’t busy and I could catch her in a chatty mood, we would talk about literature and music (which is why I cannot remember which she taught). She would bring me articles she’d found in magazines or the newspaper, and lists of books to read. There were days when she would be in a foul mood for whatever reason and she wouldn’t talk at all except to order her meal. The large bag that she carried with her was always crammed with notebooks, magazines and newspapers. She was definitely odd, but then so was I, which is probably why I enjoyed her company any time she would allow.