I usually sit outside with the dog and chat to the passers by and the patrons that come out for a smoke. Occasionally a few of the others will wonder out for a chat. They all know me and if they don’t someone will fill them in. Usually with a gesture in my direction “The old tennis courts”. Which is followed with “Aaagh, you got the old tennis courts” and a conversation fires up.
I’ve never been good at making friends. Which is something that’s taken my whole life to come to terms with. Always thinking there was something wrong with me. At times sinking into periods of depression.
Here in this place I fit in. I feel at home with these people. They’re just the locals that crawl out of the woodwork. Wondering down to the pub for a beer and a catch up. On my last visit, talking to someone about the house they just built up the road. I got invited over to have a look.
“Number 22! come down and have a look”.
“I’m at number 20! drop by my place to, it’s dog friendly”.
“There’s the potato man!” someone calls out. After which I get an explanation, actions included. “He comes down the street at the same time every day with the same expression .” A cow farmer from up the road they find humour in.
They all give the dog a pat as he goes from person to person. Occasionally he gets into the pub and runs rampant “Your dogs in the pub!” but nobody seems to mind. It just gets a few laughs
For the first time in my life I fit in somewhere. I feel part of something. And the people here are on my level with similar beliefs. I can relate to them.