Wednesday, 23 April 2014

I Could Have Both


The world is a subtle and amazing place.
 
You can be thousands of miles from where you live, in the middle of a city with millions of total strangers and when you look up from your sandwich in that tiny deli, you see a friend that you knew in high school. The chances of running into him must be astronomical!

I have a friend that this happens to all of the time. It has gotten to the point that he is kind of disappointed if he doesn’t run into someone in an out of the way place. It doesn’t happen to me very often, but it has happened. I guess what surprises me most is when I don’t run into people. There are places and stores that I go to on a regular basis and I have friends and acquaintances that also go to the same places and I very rarely run into anyone I know. I suppose it could be that I have a tendency to look down when I am walking and if I’m not looking down then I am focused on what I am doing. That explains why I don’t see other people, but not why other people don’t see me.

I have come to think that people do see me but for reasons of their own they don’t approach me. Maybe they don’t want to disturb me because I am so focused. Maybe they don’t have time for a catch up conversation with an acquaintance. Maybe they think I just look like someone they know. Maybe they do see me, know it’s me and are praying that I don’t see them. In those situations when you do see each other, if you are quick, you can notice their lips make the shape of “Oh SHIT!” just before the smile comes on their faces. It doesn’t matter, because if they don’t want to see and talk to me then I don’t want to see and talk to them, and I probably mouthed “OH SHIT!” too.

When we were coming back from Las Vegas, we arranged to meet the daughter of a woman that Louise works with and her soon to be husband in Salt Lake City. This wasn’t one of those astronomical happenstances but was arranged via email and confirmed with text messages. She happened to be coming down to Salt Lake City to visit her fianc√© and since the opportunity was there, why not take it.
 
The surprising thing is that these two people ever met in the first place. They seem to be soul mates from the hour or so I spent with them. They live in different countries have different back grounds and more than likely would pass each other on the street without a second glance. However, they did meet, gave each other a second glance and are now looking forward to making a life together. Amazing!

Louise and I met through boredom. She had a job pumping gas for the summer and sitting at the station during her breaks was pretty boring so she wandered over to Dallas Sportswear store to talk with the owner Tom to kill a half hour or so. I was working for the summer at the Post Office and generally finished work early in the afternoon. All of my friends had real jobs and didn’t get home till five o’clock. I had nothing to do for the afternoons which became pretty boring, so I would drop in on my buddy Tom from high school at the store he owned every now and then. One day I walked in and there was a pretty girl in tight shorts and a yellow halter top. Tom introduced us and I found that not only was she pretty, but she was far smarter than I was. That in itself isn’t much of an accomplishment, but I found it appealing. At the time, I had pretty much given up on finding a girlfriend, but I was always in the market for a friend.


Who knew that I could have both?

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