convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #132


The sun flooded the sidewalks, the humidity was low, Friday beckoned. I was on my way home from work and saw a guy walking his bike veer off to the side. His maroon shirt matched his bike and then I passed him and re-concentrated on my audiobook.

I made a last minute decision to stop at the local convenience store to grab a carton of ice cream to celebrate surviving the stressful week. As I got to the cash register, Mr. Maroon Shirt was perusing the aisles.

Wasn’t he headed in the other direction before?

What an odd coincidence.

I hope it’s a coincidence.

I committed his buzz cut, his light eyes, his stubbled cheeks, his slight build, average height to memory as I handed over cash to cover my purchases. As I headed out, I threw another glance over my shoulder and decided against putting the ear bud back in my ear.

The sunshine drenched evening didn’t match with the feeling in my gut.

Another glance over my shoulder showed he was empty handed and pushing his bike in the same direction I was headed.

I ducked down the driveway between my apartment and the one next door in a vain hope of not showing him where I live. Two guys from my building (both in their 60s) were strolling up the driveway and we exchanged quick “hello how are you’s.” Once past them and with no one else in view, I dashed to the back door of my apartment building and let myself in with shaking fingers.

I suppose this is why you’re taught not to talk to strangers.

convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #131


18 people milled around on the sidewalk. An open house was scheduled for 6pm. It was 6:20. A sunglass wearing guy strolled up a couple of minutes later.

Him: *smiles*

Me: *smiles*

Him: So, no agent yet?

Me: Nope. It’s starting to feel like college and the professor’s late for class and we’re just here waiting.

Him: *smiles*

Me: I’m not sure when time expires or when we give up on waiting.

He half shrugged and we lapsed back into silence.

The initial interest, the non-enthusiasm of reality, the quiet silence, the singles waiting lonely outside. Local dating scene or local real estate scene?

Not sure if I should have asked him to grab a drink or to buy a condo together? Apparently I’m not good at navigating dating or real estate waters…


convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #130


*post learning how to walk and climb/descend stairs on crutches, the PT wheeled me back to the recovery room*

Nurse: Welcome back. You’re all set with the crutches?

Me: As all set as I’ll ever be.

Nurse: So glad to hear it.

Me: I don’t know that I’ll ever be ready for those 50 stairs up and into my apartment.

Nurse: I cannot stop thinking about that. I’m going to worry about this for the rest of the day.

Me: Me too.

Nurse: Maybe you could find some cute, strong looking guy on the street and have him carry you up.

Me: Or I could call the fire department.

Nurse: They’d definitely help you.

Me: And here I’d been trying to use a dating app. All I needed to do was get foot surgery and have millions of stairs to climb.

Nurse: It’s a unique strategy all right.

The pain meds were wearing off, but the effects of the anesthesia lingered, and the anxiety piled on as my brain remained hazy, fuzzy, and overloaded. From the vantage point of the wheelchair, I contemplated my future. Which included crutches and a desperate need for a sense of humor.

convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #129


Me: What time do we land? 12:30? East coast time.

Flight attendant: Hmm. What time is it now?

Me: It’s just before 11 East Coast, so 9am Denver time.

FA: We’re due to land at 10:30 Denver time.

A: Okay yeah. 12:30. I haven’t changed my watch yet to Colorado time. Plus my grandmother lives in Denver so I’m used to the time difference.

FA: I live in Denver so I’m used to it too but when you’re flying all over and through various time zones, I’m not quite sure what time it is!

A: Now that is some challenging math.

Not to mention an interesting career choice that bleeds into one’s personal life unlike a lot of other job options. As she pushed the drink cart to serve other customers, I pondered all the questions I had about being a flight attendant. Hey, anything to make the flight time feel faster, right?

convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #128


It was early for the usual post work crowd, but since it was St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish bar C and I were in was packed four deep. We each had a Guinness in hand, continually shifting and rearranging positions to avoid those who’d been celebrating far longer than us.

The guy next to us grabbed his friend’s thigh high up and obvious enough, we took the bait with raised eyebrows. They started laughing and the salt and pepper haired friend mentioned something about restless leg syndrome. I nodded.

“I have that too,” I said.

“No one ever believes me,” he said with an appropriately thick Irish accent. “I couldn’t sleep last weekend. I had to get up and get on the treadmill.”

The live music blurred the edges of conversation or maybe it was the Guinness but I perked up again when he said he’d just been in Panama.

“I was there last month,” I said.

“I was there last weekend,” he said.

“Wow. That is recent! What took you there?” I said.

“Buying property,” he said.

The similarities between him and me were not great enough to combat the gulf between our locations or the thickening crush of people or the wail of the music, and with the arrival of my other friends, he and his friend vanished like two leprechauns protecting their pot of gold.