See Ya Martin
“See ya, Martin!” Martin waves his hand, just like he always does. It’s always “See ya” and never a welcome, always “See ya later” and never “Hello now, Martin!”
I caught up with him once when he was hurrying away and asked him what he thought about life. “See ya later mate” he said, “Gotta go!” and ran off faster than before. “Where you going?” I shouted after him but he pointed down the road. “Can’t talk now, gotta dash!” and he was disappearing around the corner.
Any other time I would have gone back to the guys and let him go on his way, but this time I decided to follow him. I kept a distance, sure, but I followed him down past the shops and the post office to the park on the corner. When he thought he was out of sight he took a sharp right, found a bench and sat down to catch his breath.
I waited a while to see if this was where Martin had come to make a secret meeting or do some kind of shady deal, but no-one passed by at all. He wasn’t looking at his watch or anything to suggest he’d been stood up by someone. He just sat there quietly, enjoying the sunshine. I’d never seen him so relaxed before.
At last a man came by who seemed familiar, a chap we both knew who worked at the ministry. “Hey Martin!” he called out and straight away Martin stood up nervously. “Hello!” he said, “but sorry I gotta dash” and set off down the street once more. “But…” said the guy, “I was justing wanting to…” but Martin was already off and away.
I went across to greet the chap from the ministry. He smiled in a confused way and gestured after Martin, who was down by the station by now. “Did you see?” he said, “Did you see Martin was here but he left?” I nodded and said “Yes. He always does that. It’s annoying, isn’t it?” We both smiled and nodded for a bit and stood there enjoying each others company until the boredom and banality of the moment became unbearable and we went our separate ways.