Lots of lovely posts about strangers. But, I got nuthin.
Of course I’ve had my share of strange encounters with people I don’t know. A couple of them were even not-so strange. But, I got nuthin.
Nothing about any of those encounters has ever stood out enough that I tucked it away in my “future file” mind, in the event I should need an anecdote during a conversation. Or for a writing prompt.
WordPress Daily Prompt has asked about the Stranger Encounter a few times over the past three years, and I replied to two with fictional stories: Apartment #404 Error and Spite and Malice. Another fictional story I wrote in response to a prompt (Rain’s Respite) was also about strangers, though that’s not precisely what was prompted.
But, personally? I got nuthin. A pleasant “how’s your day?” with a cashier; a “know the time?” on the bus; a request for directions, you bet…
Oh, well… OK…so, a recent encounter was a little odd: While shopping at drug store, a woman approached me as I stood staring various kitchen items. Exasperated, she asked if I knew where she could buy a liner for the bottom of her oven. “You know, to catch the spills and drips?” Yes, I know what she meant, but apologized that I did not know. “Oh, well. I thought you would. I mean, you look like you would.”
“Oh, really,” I replied, “Why’s that?”
“You’re standing in this aisle.”
My parents traveled quite a lot and if it weren’t for the kindness of strangers, they’d have found themselves in a world of hurt a number of times. My favorite story of theirs was about the couple who returned my mother’s stolen wallet. Long story short: The man goes out to do some yard work and sees a wallet in the middle of his yard. My mother had their itinerary in it, and recognizing the address of the hotel, the man and his wife decide to go find my folks to return the wallet. The couple didn’t speak English, but my father managed to pantomime an invitation to lunch in gratitude for the couple’s effort. They said the four of them had a great time laughing as they mimed their way through lunch.
But, I got nuthin. Well, except meeting Mr. Atheist via blog comments which lead to starting this blog. I guess that counts, yes?
(OH!…hey… “Man finds wallet in the middle of his yard and decides to return it” may be the start to another Crowd Writing story…hmmmmmm…)