I swear: I was just doing a wee bit of grocery shopping.
But then all this other stuff happened.
I was at Whole Foods Friday afternoon, where–of late–I’ve been buying organic pork sausage on the regular. (Love their loose breakfast sausage.) The strawberries actually had some strawberry-smell to them, so I got a few packs of them, too. And I needed some crème fraîche, so I walked over to the cooler section where I knew it to be.
An older woman was bent over and selecting some fresh fettuccine, so I held the door open for her while she searched for what she wanted. When she stood up and saw me holding the door, she apologized for being in my way, to which I responded, “I’m not in a hurry.” Then, for whatever reason, I added, “But if I were in a hurry, you’d know it because you’d be knocked down flat on the ground, and I’d be tromping all over you!” Followed by “Just kidding!” as I flashed her a smile. Then I said, “But I have been that person … in a rush, pushy, a bother. Just not today.” I hope she understood I wouldn’t have really knocked her to the ground. (I’m pretty sure she did.) I was rather jovial about the whole thing, and she didn’t call security, so I’m figuring she knew I was joking.
When I was ready to check out, I saw the lines were long, long, long! (Note to self: shopping at Whole Foods late on a gorgeous Friday afternoon–not the best idea if I want to get in and out quickly.) Then I remembered I had an Amazon return in my car, so I wheeled my cart over to the customer-service desk and asked the person there if I could leave my cart for a few minutes to get something from my car. She said I could.
I got the item, returned it at the Amazon counter and came back to my cart; but when I turned my cart around to head toward the checkout lines, I paused. I saw someone about 15 yards away who looked and felt rather familiar to me.
I often don’t wear my contacts needed for distance-sight because I only need them for detail, and I can navigate my hometown of Columbia pretty well without them. Though this was a moment where I would have benefited from a bit more detail in my vision.
I kept staring at her from a distance. I kept thinking: “That’s Keny.” But then I’d think: “Why is she here? She doesn’t live in Columbia.” Also, Keny–for the time I’ve known her–tends to be fairly intentional and dramatic with her hair (photos below), and this woman was wearing a pinkish-brownish hat with a wide brim, so I couldn’t get a profile view of her or see her hair. But my mind kept saying, “That’s Keny,” followed by “but that doesn’t really look like Keny,” followed by, “That’s Keny; it has to be. I think she posted a photo of her in a hat recently. That’s gotta be her.”
what the heck!
After about a minute of this back-and-forth in my mind, I said to myself, “Oh, what the heck; it can’t hurt to get closer, look and see if it’s her.”
So I walked up to this woman, whose back was to me, and whose head was covered with a wide-rimmed hat and said, “Keny?” She turned, we smiled at each other and we hugged.
After our quick hellos, I told her about my internal back-and-forth and hesitation to come up to her, but then I remembered she had posted a photo of herself in a hat just recently, so I went for it.
To which she responded (essentially), “I love this! I was just looking at some limes a minute ago, when I heard myself say, ‘Someone is going to recognize me because of my hat,’ but then I thought that was silly because ‘I’m in Columbia and who is going to recognize me here?’ ”
Me! That’s who!
After our hellos and goodbyes, I checked out of the store and walked over to the lake. A gorgeous day. And a Friday. And a prom night for some. The Columbia lakefront was filled with prom-goers taking photos by the lake.
and that’s brian
I was looking for a place to write, so I moseyed on, seeking a seat and some shade, which is when I saw Brian Dunn. We hugged, said our hellos and then he told me he’d been thinking about me just that morning, as we’d chatted/texted a couple weeks back about getting together for lunch (which we probably haven’t done in at least five years), and he wanted to follow up. But there we were, crossing paths, catching up and all that.
And another photo with the People Tree in the background, which I asked for. (Hah! Just remembered, as I typed that last sentence: Brian had a blog back in the day called People Tree Productions, or something like that.)