“Hiya, hiya, hiya!” I am enthusiastically greeted by the man in the green jacket with a great big wave and smile.
“How are you?” I ask as I walk by.
“Good, good, good.” Is his response, always the same, so very predictable, and yet I can’t help but ask again. I want to hear it. I want to know that today, again, he is not just good, but good times three.
Biking along on another day, the man in the green jacket waves, genuinely, as I go by, as he does to every passerby. As if it is his community commitment to acknowledge every passing person, and vehicle. He waves contentedly with a grin, no matter who is inside, regardless of response, or lack thereof.
My kids see him coming and shout out “There he is!” looking forward to his greeting. Always wearing his green jacket. Whether minus 40C or plus 30C, he is there, walking down Spruce Drive, much to the contentment of my kids and I as well as the greater Spruce Cliff community.
I admire this man. He can be entirely relied upon for friendliness and charm under any circumstance. He brings me back to my childhood, his charisma is not taken for granted; he is truly one of “the people of my neighbourhood,” like in that song from Sesame Street. In fact, I can vividly imagine all of Hensen’s muppets with yellow and pink and brown faces and floppy hair and big open eyes dancing around and singing “These are the people of my neighbourhood, of my neighbourhood, of my neeeeibooourhoooooood”. I can see the man in the green jacket among them, clicking his heels in a leprauchan-esque manoeuvre jumping side to side, joyfully.
“Goodbye, goodbye goodbye.” I say as we part ways, knowing this is but temporary. As, like the sun rises, the man with the green jacket will be back tomorrow walking amongst us, and past us, with more undivided, unlimited, all-embracing, and all-inclusive cheer.