I’m all about random encounters 😉
I have ‘one of those faces’. I attract random chit-chat from people from all walks of life, in all occasions. I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s because I look open and I actually want these small interactions in my life, why sit on a train playing with your phone if there is a conversation to be had? (Strangely I’m good at chatting with strangers, but I get REALLY nervous chatting to people I *kind of* know…)
I once said that I would love to write a book that contains excerpts of the afore-mentioned random conversations, but I worry that if I started to document them I would then start steering the conversations in a particular direction, meaning the ‘randomness’ element would go. As it stands, I don’t write about them. I regularly relay brief encounters to my friends but that’s it. I then go on to forget the content.
One evening I was waiting for a train home after visiting my Mum when an old drunk guy started talking to me. I remember noticing two people walk away from him so as to not get caught up in the conversation. I didn’t encourage him to, yet he sat beside me on the train. Oh well, 25 minutes chat it is.
What a wonderful chat we had!
We spoke about love, death, spirituality, the universe. The conversation flowed so easily, and he introduced me to some thought provoking concepts and ideologies. The thing I remember the most about this old man is his eyes. His eyes were full of love, hope, wisdom and (this bit sounds weird) a thousand souls. If eyes are the windows to the soul then this man had the deepest soul, it seemed to encapsulate so much more than I could ever imagine. At one point I seriously considered the concept that this was some sort of test, me meeting some form of divinity who was testing my morals and beliefs. Absolutely crazy, I know.
I left the train before him, and we parted gracefully. I thanked him for his chat and walked the rest of my way home, churning our encounter over in my head. Maybe he chats with people and captures an essence of them, which is why I perceived his soul to be so full. I spoke about this meeting for days to come. Unfortunately, I didn’t write our dialogue down and 7 odd years on I don’t remember specifics. I remember how he made me feel at the time, I’ll never forget that.
Another brief encounter – from a couple of weeks ago
I was walking home after work and passed the back door of the social club next to my flat, where an old man was smoking.
I passed him, said hello and smiled.
He then said, ‘Smile, it might not fucking happen!’
Eh? I wonder what exactly this man saw when he looked at me.
I know for a fact that it wasn’t me. ‘Cause I was smiling.