I encountered him on a plane, during the second leg of a long trip. Just as I fastened my seatbelt, he turned to me and said, “So, you headed home?”
I’ll admit that I’d rather not talk at length with strangers, especially on planes. No escaping, no “Well, I’ve got to get going, now. Nice talking with you.” But since I started creating these posts, I’ve come to feel differently about chance meetings. Every person I experience has the potential to change my life (and some REALLY have, thankfully).
So, I gave Karl a bit of my time. In fact, we spent the entire trip, which was more than two hours, talking about where we grew up, our hobbies and personal pet peeves, and our relationships. I found myself thinking that my parents probably don’t know this much about my current life!
Eventually, the conversation turned to politics, religion and the bootstrap myth. Both Karl and I had grown up poor, but we had very different viewpoints, particularly about that troubling boogeyman called Socialism. In spite of a few tense moments when Karl looked as though he regretted striking up conversation with me, the talk was very congenial.
As the plane coasted down the runway to a perfect landing at our destination, Karl said, “It was nice to talk with you, even though we didn’t agree on everything. It’d be great if more people could talk like this. Maybe the world wouldn’t have so many problems.”
That’s when I told Karl he was beautiful.