It happened again. I spent all last summer having strangers strike up conversations with me; in parking lots, coffee fixin bars, restaurant lobbies. At first it was unsettling, then something to study, eventually a great source of heartwarming blog posts. Now, I just take it in stride
I was putting in my cream & sugar when a woman my age wearing a Johnny Cash sleeveless-T and fixing 4 coffees for herself & hubby & who knows who spotted my “Daytona Bike Week” t-shirt. “Joo go?” and “Isn’t it Great” started us off. She spoke animatedly about biking, freedom, escaping her bad marriage, Florida and the joys of Key West, and her parents trips to the famous Sturgis, SD Harley week.
After months of study, as best I can figure it’s because I make eye warm contact, smile, listen, and ask follow up questions. Frankly, its because I care.
Since returning home last October these encounters are less frequent, only one or two per week. But this one was notable in that after our traditional 20 minutes we split up her bounty and I carried half her coffee cups as we walked out front together; to look at my bike as she asked it’s speed, range, what one costs. (And I bemoaned the recent daily rain).
I’m convinced I’m some kind of ink blot to people, of things they want their life to be. I catch their eye, they tell a story, then they draw a couple cards from my overflowing hand and use them to confirm the rationality of their own dreams and wishes. They pour out their heart, then leave more confident in whatever it was that was on their mind.
One such instant friend told me that I “never met a stranger”. He was certainly right. But he forgot to add that “I’m the luckiest guy in town”.