Today I was running errands and could feel the pulse of the holiday rush. Today in Oregon; like a lot of the country, there is snow and ice, making driving less than perfect. It is the kind of day where all the tire stores are extremely busy. I could feel the craziness of people scrambling to take care of their business and hurrying about; it was contagious. The mood today in town was the kind of day where everyone is so occupied that they put their heads down and don’t bother looking up or conversing; I felt like a fly on the wall because of it.
I was at the local K-mart making one of my last stops pacing back and forth at the check outs trying to find one with a small line. I found a check out line with a small enough line to my liking and proceeded to wait. An elderly gentleman waiting ahead of me in line turned around, smiled and made small talk; he did this a couple of times. He then proceeded to ask me, “don’t I know you from somewhere?”. I thought hard about where I might have met this gentleman when he suddenly exclaimed, ” I know, Jail.” Knowing I had never been to jail, I knew he was joking and then he laughed, confirming my suspicion. He continued on with a few more antics while I listened intently as if this were the last human being I would talk to for a long while.
I really, really enjoyed my time conversing with this gentleman; I did not want it to end quickly. I feel he enjoyed our time together as much as I did. It seemed this is the way I remember life was long ago growing up before the electronic age. For a moment, I felt like this stranger and I were the only two people around that were humans in a sea of zombies; like we were from the last of the conversational generation. I felt validated as a human being. Thank you kind gentleman stranger you made my day.