Familiar strangers

Separately, Bob and I each had an encounter with a stranger today, different little blasts from cultural pasts.

In Bob’s case, the distance was somewhere between 30 and 40 years ago, but a beat that has spread from the largest of cities into remote outposts:  the Hare Krishna on the make. Today’s approach was tidily dated but classic as well: “Hey, you like the Beatles?”

Meanwhile, I was at Scotia Square, madly texted Fred about his bank account, when a sweet older woman excused her presence and asked if she could join me on the bench. She regaled me with the find she’d made somewhere of a two-for-one offer on biscuits (the cookie kind) and when I didn’t rebuff that first sally into conversation, she let fly with how sad she feels when people do rebuff her. A Cape Bretoner who sees her loquacious openness as both identity and baggage, she was completely charming and, in my estimation, a bonus to that moment I’d taken to contact someone.

For his part, Bob ducked away from further inquiry from his interlocutor.  Been there, done that. Mine was the sort that is always a pleasant surprise.

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