Hey Kyle, long time no see
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | February 6, 2014
Hey, look who it is. It’s Kyle! You know Kyle, don’t ya? You’ve got to. He’s here, there, and everywhere. He’s the guy who installs your satellite TV. He’s the guy who serves you coffee at Tim’s. He’s the guy who fixes your computer.
Yeah, I thought you knew him…
Now, you may think I’ve picked the name Kyle at random and am using it as a nickname for the guy that everyone knows; the chap who you do see almost wherever you go and wonder just how you always seem to bump into him. And I could be doing just that, apart from the fact that Kyle is real, and he’s my guy. He’s the one who at regular intervals throughout my four years of living in Haliburton I have bumped into and each time he greets me with a big smile and a hearty handshake.
I like Kyle.
I have to admit that I was unsure initially, though.
He was the guy, who, as I mentioned, came to install my satellite TV dish when we first moved here. Just three days into living in Haliburton, just three days into living in Canada for that matter, we booked a service engineer to come and hook us up, and the very next afternoon Kyle knocked at our door. There he was, big smile, hearty handshake, dish in hand. Boy this guy could chat. As he worked he bombarded me with questions.
“Where are you from? Why come here? What do you do? Who’s this little guy? What’s the wife’s name…?” And on and on but all in such a polite, and smiley manner that this reserved Englishman couldn’t help but pour out his life story.
Then, TV installed and just a few checks to make, Kyle flopped down into an armchair and told me all about his life. In order to seem polite my lovely wife offered him a cup of tea and he accepted. Of course he did. And we chatted some more. By the time he left I felt like I’d known Kyle for years. I also felt like he’d stolen part of my identity, such was the sheer amount of information that I’d divulged to this satellite service engineer stranger.
I didn’t quite know what to make of it but the TV worked OK so all was well.
Not six months later we bought a house and moved from our rental accommodation. We needed the satellite rewired in the new place and who should turn up? Kyle. Not surprising I guess. Same guy, same area, and so I thought nothing of it. We had the same super friendly chat as before, with Kyle now seeming to assume the unofficial role of official Canadian sage to all of my new Canadian questions. He stayed longer than he had to. He relaxed back into an armchair as before. He smiled lots and gave hearty handshakes at the start and end of his visit (I call it a visit because it was more than a service call with Kyle. I bet old ladies loved him visiting for a chat and a service call, such was his warmth and familiarity).
Then, I didn’t think about Kyle again for over a year. It’s not that I’m mean hearted, just that I didn’t have TV issues and didn’t bump into him on the off chance. But, that all changed when I went into Tim’s and there he was, hairnet and all.
“Hey, Will. How’s it going?”
I took a moment, possibly longer than a moment to recognize him, I’m sure.
“It’s Kyle, your TV guy!” he boomed.
How foolish I felt. My Canadian sage stood there larger than life and I’d not recognized him. The line grew longer behind me as Kyle chatted, his big smile intact, his eyes noting my sidelong glances at the growing restlessness of the queue, his nonchalant wave saying ‘hey, who cares, we’re chatting.’ Good old Kyle.
And then, some two and a bit years later, just the other day in fact, my laptop broke down. I called a local technician and he told me to bring it in. As I put the phone down a spark of recognition flickered. That voice…
Yep, you guessed it. Kyle.
“Where have you been? You’ve been gone for ages,” said my lovely wife when I returned from the computer store. I laughed heartily and smiled, just like Kyle would have, and told her who I’d just met. Again.
Now you understand. Now you are thinking, ‘oh yeh, I know Kyle’, or Bob, Brandon or whoever. He’s that guy: the one who’s always got a smile and a hearty handshake for you. The one you hope never to meet when you’re in a rush and the one who always sends you away grinning. Thanks Kyle. I’ll see you again soon.
WILL JONES - The Outsider