“I don’t like people” she said.
What she meant by this, I knew exactly. It was a secretly shared feeling between the two of us, confirmed in the moment’s circumstance.
On this dim, half-moon lit night, occupied by the crisp cool air of the late fall eve, it was only we who shared the setting provided by the old storied buildings around us as we stepped down into the pavilion. We were lost in the same comforting train of thought our minds had escaped from the campus we felt far away from now, after a week spent in its business of frenzying around from class to class, sweeping past familiar faces and some not so familiar as you exchange your brief greetings and move onto similar to-do lists, neither one ever making time out of such days to connect with the one you just passed.
However, although we had each endured a week of this “same old-same old”, the quiet air of the eve, just downtown from the campus, had provided a much different atmosphere under the moon’s guidance, encouraging connection and quiet conversation. As we made our way down into the middle of the pavilion’s square, one could picture the bands there playing invigorating music on moon-lit evenings such as these, and where in the daylight greedy but smiling politicians gathered to give their speeches to supporters and protestors alike on election days. This little area on the backside of the town provided a perfect intellectual setting, made complete by the few pleasantly placed rose bushes that provided the square’s refreshing smell for all who roamed it to the explore their minds and perhaps a companion on nights such as these.
My mind was now deep into the conversation she shared with me as we continued our journey through the scenery, back up the adjacent side of the square, our feet moving in unison up the stone steps that led us back up to civilization. As we became re-immersed back to ground level, each of us fascinated by the back of the town’s scenery, it was only the old brick walls that separated us from the bar goers on the other side we shared the city with; but I couldn’t help but reflect on the difference in those beings whose splattered conversations involved their troubles from the week and other small matters many had come to drink away, verses the thoughtfulness and fullness of the deep conversation between just the two of us, as far into life as our minds would take us.
The quiet peacefulness we found on the other side of those walls amidst the pavilion’s moon-lit atmosphere perfected the evening all the more for connecting with one another. Continuing to move along the pavilion’s pathway, we shared the comfort this little area with its colorful lights some thoughtful bar owner had dangled from the backside of the roof’s building provided, perhaps for those such as us who wandered through on nights such as these. I was falling into a trance as I listened to the story she was so vibrantly telling to just me, allowing instinct to kick in with subtle “mm hmm’s” and such short responses called for in the moments of her little pauses for me to take in each part of her narrative.
We were both in so deep as we strolled through, our thoughts soaring high above our heads and intermingling in some magical cloud resembled by the conversation we had become indulged in. She moved along so pleasantly with me, as the dangling lights overhead lighted the side of her face as bright as her ideas and perspectives of the world she revealed to me as the night went on.
Then suddenly, something changed in her voice, and she stopped dead in her tracks. Not with her feet, but with her mind as though something wasn’t right. Her feet kept moving, a little swifter now, and mine in unison with hers, but our intellectual atmosphere had been shattered.
This disturbance had been the cause of two mere strangers who appeared in front of us as they were passing through the pavilion headed in the direction opposite of us, as our paths crossed. I just nodded at them as they went about their way, and us about ours, like one would when passing by strangers. I could tell how startled she had been by the simple appearance of other physical beings in that moment, not in fear of any sorts, but she had become so caught up in only the existence of us two in that magical pavilion, as I listened to her so intently, that her mind was just rattled at the appearance of something else. Their passing was exactly like all the others we’d passed all week long, a simple nod or “Hi, how’s it going?”, as each of you went about your way making time for only small talk, guessing neither one of you has the time for nothing more. Never getting to connect.
“I don’t like people” she said.
“Yeah, I know what ya mean” I replied with a chuckle.
But I knew one thing, I liked the person I was walking beside.
It was the first time I had connected with someone in a long time, and I thanked the magical city for it as we continued on our journey.