One day at a time. Right?
As I waited in line to cross the San Francisco Bay Bridge from Oakland, the agent waved me past the tollbooth. “Keep going. She’s already paid for you,” and pointed to an older BMW that was waiting its turn ahead of me at the metering lights. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. “But why?” I asked the agent. “Because people are nice,” she said, as though I were an ill-bred child.
I shyly tucked my five back into the car’s cup holder, stuck my hand out the window and waved a thank you to the driver of the BMW. She raised her hands above the rear view window and wiggled her fingers back at me. A line from Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire floated past my windshield, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” It caught an air current and sailed over my head toward a group of seagulls.
All it took was a moment at a toll booth, a chance convergence that had welled up inside a knot of cars and proved something I really didn’t know, but hoped to experience again. Soon.
Years ago, I had met my love in a world of online trafficking where my profile had been a calling card, a neon sign like Michael Keaton’s Beetlejuice attracting hungry eyes to my better qualities.
Before we met, I’d gone out on innumerable coffee dates, explaining my personal journey and listening to the twists and turns of another’s path. I valued that education. Still I longed for the intimacy of a committed relationship. I remember coming to the end of my subscription period. Sick of it all, I knew I wasn’t going to re-up, thought I might try meeting people the old-fashioned way and wean myself from profile descriptions and thumbnail pictures. But on my last online date-to-be, the two of us met across a crowded movie theater. It was a convergence.
Now I feel like a fraud. How could I do this thing again? I had to create another profile and get on with my life. I hoped I was up to the task.
I believe in wonder. I really do, I do.