Faces and Places.

Sometimes it's just worth walking. Truthfully. Today, as I ticked off the tasks on my to do list I found myself in line at the local branch of my business bank. The line shuffled smoothly save the wacky couple trying to cash a check but somehow failed to have ID — either of them. I'm thinking identity theft. Oh, no. Wait. Draft thefts. Check draft that is. I make my deposit and as I saunter out of the bank I glance across the sea of cars, parking places, construction and other exhibits of commercialism in progress and squinting I see the Starbucks. Coffee. Now that sounds good, I think.

Coffee. Now a true Californian would have leveraged the power of his wireless remote for the car. Sat comfortably while driving across the parking lot to get just that much closer to the Starbucks. Shopping centers span acres, you know. Oh come on! You've done it. Admit it.

But the day was almost nice enough to walk. Nice enough for me. So I cruised the sidewalk entertaining myself with the activities of the other patrons, workers and birds doing their best impression of panhandlers begging food from hungry humans at the food court. I enjoyed my coffee, the small talk with the Barista at Starbucks and made my pilgrimage back to the car. Nearly there I caught a quick glimpse of a scruffy dude dressed in painters overalls carrying a bag with a paint roller as he emerged from the local hardware store. We both craned our neck about the same time to take a second glance when simultaneously we called each other's name.

As I finished my coffee leaning against his extremely unobtrusive and low key auto, we caught up with nearly 8 years of “news” since the last time we chatted. He told me of his kids, fighting with the IRS and his voluntarily abandonment of the advertising and design industry that we both once were so active here in Orange County. He's designing kitchens and doing remodeling. He gets his artistic expression needs by painting portraits of families, movie stars, sports legends and other magnates. He smiled. Was very happy. And the time flew as we chatted.

The moral of the story? Not sure. But take a walk. You just never know who you might run into.

Photo: Danube River, Budapest Hungary 6/2002.

Tagged as: