Adrian and his Friend with Great Taste in Movies (John)

It was a beautiful August day, sunny and warm, I was chalk full of the “Friday feels” – it was a perfect time for a casual lunch with my soon-to-be new friends, John, and Adrian.

I sat waiting for my two lunch companions in a corner booth, flipping through my phone, checking in on the Blue Jays, bit of the news, getting a handle on the latest celebrity scandal.

I looked around, I knew who to look for as I had met Adrian and John before. I knew Adrian as a fellow board member of ABLE2, and I had the pleasure of meeting his friend John at last year’s Christmas party.

Then I heard it. An excited voice sounded out my name “Rick Burrrrrnnnnsssss.”  Turning to my left, there they were. What a great first impression of John. It does not matter who, where when or why – nothing feels better than being greeted by someone with such energy and enthusiasm.

John and Adrian had barely settled into our booth before we jumped right into a delightful conversation. I had brought my notebook along with a set of pre-selected questions I could ask. I had these alongside me for my own comfort in case the conversation lagged.…in case my chit-chatting skills would fail me. Alas, my old school pen and paper proved to be mostly unnecessary as the conversation flowed naturally and easy. The lunch flew by, the real question here is what we didn’t talk about.

First matched in 1999, I was so impressed with how Adrian was with John. It was nothing specific he did, just a comfortable, caring presence. He was not John’s caretaker; he was his dear friend. I was not surprised to learn later in our conversation that John shares Christmas time and other holidays at Adrian’s place. With no immediate family in the Ottawa area, Adrian is John’s rock, his family. As the one consistent person in his life, Adian was a pillar of stability in helping John adjust to his move into his current assisted living residence.

As the conversation flowed, it turns out Adrian and I had a lot in common, not surprising considering we have established long term friendships through ABLE’s matching program and are both members of the Board of Directors.

What was surprising, however, is the commonalities I found with John. I learned so many interesting things about him. I heard about how he swam, hiked, and went to Bluesfest this summer. We both love coffee, but each of us has had to make at least a partial transition to decaf in the last few years (too much caffeine makes us both spin like a top). John was also born in Manhattan, arriving in Ottawa via Oshawa many years ago. I don’t think I have ever met a real New Yorker before!

I learned that John is a movie buff and I enjoyed hearing about his various tastes. As he listed some his favorites, I could not believe what I heard: “Titanic.”

Reader, of course you would not know this, but Titanic is in my tip five list of all-time favourite movies, and it has recently been made available on Netflix. Upon excitedly telling people in my social circles of this great news, I was disappointed to discover that it is not as popular as I once thought. My wife, nieces, friends, relatives – no one seems to be interested. John – I am so glad I met someone else with such strong movie taste. I could not agree with you more – it is an all-time classic.

Overall, the lunch was great, I really enjoyed getting to know Adian and John and I look forward to seeing them again.