Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yuri's Blessing

"Yuri" is what I call one of our regular customers even though that's not his name. For a long time, I could not remember his real name, and I knew a man with a similar accent named Yuri. I think.

He is from eastern European and speaks with a wonderful, peanut-butter-thick accent that he wholeheartedly enjoys using. He is lonely, gregarious, and now attached to a cane he looks at with distaste. His hair and short beard are neat and white, his humor is gently dry, and he reads voraciously (always has a new book he heard about and wants to discuss).

He loves children; I learned this at the same time I indelibly learned his real first name. A baby was being fussy, and the mother was calling his name to soothe him, and "Yuri" stepped over to ask what the baby's full name was.

"That's my name, too," he told the baby with a quick grin. He then went on to explain to the parents how his name was the eastern European equivalent of the baby's. "It's not a popular name like it was back when I was born," he told them. They were nice people, and they let him talk. I think it helped that the baby, also fascinated by his accent, quieted down when he spoke.

"I hope you grow up to have as good a life as I have," he said to the baby, and then the family left the store.

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