Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sharing moments

The Friday night before last I was in a cab with two friends. We were in the middle of a crazy evening in which we atteneded two general admission concerts. That's a lot of standing, so the cab ride between gigs was a welcome rest.

As we were nearing our destination we stopped because there was an ambulance in the middle of the street. After a while I realized that the ambulance was backing into the fire house (I was sitting behind the driver and couldn't seen very well). Since I couldn't see what was going on in front of us, I decided to look out the side window for entertainment.

Standing on the sidewalk was a fire department employee. I couldn't tell if he was a fireman or a paramedic. Since at that point I didn't know what the ambulance was doing, I decided to watch him because maybe he'd do something interesting.

He was looking around, and he noticed me looking at him, and we just sort of looked at each other for several seconds. And no, it wasn't in that he/she's hot sort of way. Just looking. And I wondered if I should wave to him. Would that be weird? Just as I thought that, he smiled and waved at me, and I waved back. Then the cab took off again, and we were on our way to the second concert.

You would think that in a city of millions of people we would have random connections with strangers all the time, but we don't. We avert people's eyes on the street. Walk around people. Stay in our own little world that consists of nothing more than our iPods and our shoes. Isn't it sad? I understand it is a safety mechanism, but isn't it sad that a random connection with a stranger is unique enough that it makes one's evening?

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