The only thing that could spoil a day was people, and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness, except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.
Great quote, and sometimes true. But then I remember that it was written by a reclusive alcoholic. Hmm.
People can be difficult, and if you have been dealing with them in the capacity that I have for the past 20 years- by serving them- they can be very difficult. It is easy sometimes to shift into auto pilot, and not even really see the people I am interacting with. Then I have to remind myself to pay attention. People are amazing, and if you go through life not seeing them, you miss a lot.
So here's my story for Stream of Consciousness Sunday.
It was 2001. I was working in a four star restaurant, attached to a hotel in San Jose, California. It was Saturday lunch. Not a lot of people saunter into a four star restaurant for Saturday lunch in San Jose, California, but we had to keep it open as part of our agreement with the hotel- for their guests.
Nobody ever came in on these Saturdays. I would basically spend the day, catching up on my reading. One day, I was doing just that- parked at the host stand- leaning comfortably, enjoying my book. The doors of the restaurant were etched glass, and I saw a man approaching. As he opened the door and we made eye contact, his face lit up. So did mine. He was an older gentleman, probably late fifties with dark skin, a strong brow, and deep black eyes. He rushes through the door, and we embrace with the love and excitement of long lost lovers, or friends that haven't seen each other in years.
The moment passes. We pull back and look at each other- and realize that we have never met before. Really. I have no idea who this person is.
Awkward moment ensues.
Him: Um, do we know each other?
Me: I mean, I think so? I feel like we do. Obviously I just don't go around hugging total strangers. This is weird.
Him: Yes, it is.
He is studying my face for some clue to explain his actions. There is none. We give up. He sits and has lunch. Several times we catch each other desperately studying the other's face. There is a feeling of desperate nostalgia, that I can't even explain here. As he walks out the door, he says
Miss, I can't remember who you are. But it was a past life. And it was hot.
People may be the limiters of happiness. But they are also amazing. And if you walk around with your eyes closed, you might miss a chance to hug a lover from a past life.
Stream of consciousness Sunday is cool. If you want to participate go to All Things Fadra and link up.