Stranger Discussions

Coming home from a trip that will leave me with enough material for a lifetime, I took a seat in terminal 18 with two hours to spare before departure. I had managed to claim a stool that allowed no comfort but offered a nearby outlet where I could charge my phone. Looking around, I spotted several large black chairs that looked very inviting, yet all were taken. I had been advised by the clerk at the gift shop to use one of them, for they provided plugs, and were known to be quite cozy.

To my surprise and excitement, I noticed a gentlemen getting up from his place and preparing to board his flight. I snatched what I had and headed to the space he now left vacant. I gathered the cord to my charger and went to place it in the slot discovering that the only available plug would not comply. My phone charger was far too bulky and not quite in the mood to agree with the even larger plug that had already claimed the space. As luck would have it, the chair neighboring the one I had warmed was being abandoned along with the outlet it accompanied. Just as I was ready to move from one seat to another, a woman sat down. I noticed that she had a computer she was preparing to charge, and given the nature of a double outlet, I politely asked her if she would be willing to share. To avoid wires from invading her space, she pleasantly offered to switch seats with me, for the plug that had failed me suited her just fine.

In the process of transferring our drinks and belongings, we began to talk. Naturally, we made small talk about our trips, mine being particularly interesting, which prompted me to make the comment,

“As a writer, I have experience and material that will be very useful to me in the future.”

With much interest, she began inquiring more about my comment of being a writer. She shared with me that she has two children who are writers; a son who blogs and a daughter who aspires to be a poet among other avenues within the art. Immediately, we began comparing notes between her kid’s habits as writers and mine. Writing style and technique weaved their way through conversation as did others topics that were faintly associated with the skill.

The couple hours that I had expected to linger with dreadful anguish soon ended all too soon. We acknowledged to each other the joy that had been shared during our talk and wished each other safe travels as we then parted ways. As I headed toward the terminal where my flight was expected to board, I thought to myself,

“The most random encounters can really make a difference.”

I had spent my day in a cloud of frustration and chaos dealing with the after math of an unraveling vacation. I was anxious to get home, and while my mood sustained, I wasn’t feeling my best. Walking away though, I realized just how much talking to that woman had made my day. To meet someone who showed such an interest in my work and to be related to two people who share my passion was so uplifting. It’s not every day that I meet another writer, let alone the mother of two, so the intensity of my enthusiasm was magnified by its rarity. There’s something to be said for us writers and the joy we get out of meeting those like minded. I’m sure even Mary Higgins Clark can agree.

However, despite the topic or reason, sometimes just the littlest discussion that we share with strangers can make quite an impression. It just goes to show that every person you encounter through every day of your life is giving you the opportunity to make your mark. So, with that said, next time you find yourself sitting next to a nurse on the subway, or a teacher on the train, make small talk and strike up a conversation. You never know the impact you may have on someone. For all you know, you might just end up as a character in my book.


2 thoughts on “Stranger Discussions

  1. my feelings exactly! What a waste of life to walk around with our heads down and our bubble up. Meeting new people, especially those who share a passion, not only confirm the reason we love what we love but help us improve our craft. Good insight Ellie

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