Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Chance Meetings -- Pointless, or Prophetic?

What is the point of chance meetings? Why do they happen if nothing comes of them?

A couple months ago, I had a chance meeting. That morning I had dressed with care. That evening, I was to attend two parties, the first an engagement party for a friend at church, who works coordinating programs including the homeless ministry for which I volunteer, and the second a fancy launch party downtown at Bungalow 8 for a new restaurant Web site one of my friends was launching. I wore a pretty embroidered skirt and brought a sexy red top to change into after work for the parties.

As I decided what jewelry to wear, I chose to take one thing off for the first time: a bracelet that Chris had given me that he brought back from Costa Rica. I have been wearing it daily since we broke up and always thought of him when I looked at it. I picked the bracelet up, bid it farewell and left it on my desk. I was trying to put that era of pain and suffering behind me and it was time to stop carrying that reminder with me each day. I was sad but I'm also tired of being sad.

After leaving the first party, I tried to catch a cab near my church on Fifth Avenue because I was running too late to take the subway. Everyone was trying to get cabs, and they were all taken. The cocktail hour was passing! Eek!

I saw a cab pull over but some guy swiped it out from under my nose. Jerk! Then I heard him say, "Hey, are you going downtown? I'll split it with you." I immediately jumped in without even glancing at him.

Then I looked over. Sitting there was one of the most gorgeous creatures I have ever laid eyes on -- thick blonde hair and a big happy smile and a long straight nose and kind eyes. I introduced myself. He said his name was W (name redacted to protect the innocent-slash- person who will think I’m a psycho if they find this by googling themself), and that when he saw how crestfallen I was when he got the cab that he knew he should share with me even though he was running very late to go look at a new apartment.

I felt like magic was happening in the cab! We immediately started talking about everything under the sun like we had known each other for years, or like we were old friends. He had an adorable accent, I asked if he was southern and he looked surprised and said most people don't pick up on that because he spent the last 20 years in London. His parents are from Mississippi. I told him I was coming from a party at church, he asked which one, and it turns out he's even A PRESBYTERIAN!!!! Then we talked about what we liked and looked for in churches.

I felt like I would never have to hope to stumble upon prince charming ever again if only this one would ask me out.

Lucky for me but not so lucky for W's apartment search, we got stuck in the cab behind a garbage truck. Yay! Here are some things I found out: W is a lawyer by education, and now is an investment banker, and doesn't want to do that forever, though -- he says maybe someday he'd like to open a jazz club. I'd say he's about 32. But he spent a lot of time grilling me about my career and my life. Did I mention W is gorgeous? And that, at the risk, nay, the certainty, of sounding mind-crushingly cliché, that I felt like I had known him forever?

W decided he should get out of the cab and just make a dash for it because we were stuck, and he said, “Well, I guess I'll see you around the city, and I thought, "probably not." Then he said, “I wish, I wish I had a business card to give you, but I don't have them
yet. Maybe I could have your email or something?” So I gave him my email and he gave me his. I got his email! He shook my hand and kind of held it a little. Then the cab started to move again, so he decided to stay in. When we got to his stop, he got ready to get
out, and he grabbed my hand again. That's THREE handshakes for one cab ride. Way too much touchy for complete strangers. Then he dashed out of the cab, turned around and waved and smiled at me as he crossed the street.

I felt like something momentous just happened! It didn't feel like just a cab ride and a stranger. It would have felt so weird I think if he had left without us trading email.

I continued on to my fancy Bungalow 8 party, but the magic cab-ride glow was gone. Why, you ask?

Because midway through my sparkly conversation with W, he dropped the “girlfriend bomb.”

Ah, to fall in like and get your hopes crushed all in the same 15-minute cab ride.

And WHY if he has a stupid girlfriend did he want to have my email? Just in case she gets run over by a herd of wild horses? I never take cabs. It’s fate, right?!

Whatever. I never heard from the magic W but two months later I’m still thinking about it, and hoping against hopes that that herd of wild mustangs to run his girlfriend over. I’m an awful person.

What’s the point? Seriously, someone please enlighten me.

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