A random stranger approached me in the grocery store the other day.
She asked if I had a cell phone she could borrow.
She assured me it wasn’t a long distance call, I could even dial the number.
So soft spoken, obviously frazzled and concerned. Her black hair pulled back and her physique slim. Her clothes looked like she’d been running around all day, flip flops, and cut off jean shorts, ready for errands.
“John, the PVR isn’t set to record the finale of Survivor!” I heard her explain with frantic concern, “No, you’ll have to turn it off to get it to start recording – no, not like – sigh – already? – sigh – okay I guess – alright – bye.”
She smiled a thank you and ran off. And with that, our interaction was complete.
I may never see this woman again.
Dazed, I continued to look at the sale on raspberries when my phone started to vibrate. I looked down and saw it was the number I had just been instructed to dial for John’s cell phone.
I cautiously answered and explained that the woman, who’s name was indiscernible, had run off and I did not know where she was. I vaguely saw her head darting among the racks of bread on the fringes of the store but had no idea how I would go about getting her attention anyhow.
The gentleman, with the sound of kids playing in the background, and I hung up and that was the end of the mysterious survivor woman in my life.
Who was she? Who was this woman who had a PVR but no cell phone? Would I ever run into her again somewhere? Would we cross paths again at some point? Or was this our only chance encounter? Over cellphones, Survivor, and raspberries?
Sometimes people who come into our lives for mere moments can have such an impact. For in our day to day hectic routine they get us to stop and pause, and for just a moment our lives are connected with a total stranger.
For something seemingly meaningless, but totally profound.