Have you ever been hugged by a complete stranger? Someone you’ve never laid eyes on before? It happened to me one day, right in public.
Well, I’ll admit I did barely lay eyes on this person a few minutes before as he hoisted himself from behind the steering wheel of his car and stood to his feet. And I sort of laid eyes on him as he passed by the window in front of me. I didn’t know him from Adam – but he wasn’t an Eve, that much I recognized.
Really my eyes weren’t focused on him at all, but were fixed on something dark that had fallen to the ground as he stood up. Something that looked suspiciously like…
Oh, dear. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start again.
I was sitting at a table in a small corner of a bookstore, this corner they have set up as a coffee bar. I’d finished my coffee and was idly gazing out the window beside me when I saw this grey car drive up and park facing the store right in front of where I sat.
As I said, I saw this man get out of this car and stride purposefully toward the store next door. I saw quite surprised to see something dark hit the icy asphalt when he stood up, so I got up and went out to see, in case it may be something important – like a wallet.
And so it was. A plump, folded leather wallet. I stuffed it into my pocket and hurried into the Dollar Store next door, looking for someone about his size, brownish jacket.
I scanned the aisles and saw a good match but I wasn’t certain, so I approached him and asked, “Do you drive a grey car? Did you just park next door?”
“Yes,” he replied, a puzzled note in his voice. After all, I was a complete stranger to him.
“Did you lose something?”
He gave me a blank look, then the light dawned. He slapped his back pockets. “My wallet.”
I pulled it out of my pocket and handed it to him. He moaned once and thanked me for it, then, in front of everyone in the aisle, he threw his arm around me and gave me a hug.
Me, a complete stranger, someone he’d never laid eyes on before. Can you imagine that?