Wednesday, January 24, 2018

CD Shopping

It was a dismal day for CD shopping at the Value Village on Broad. I usually have to make a stack and narrow it down to one or two—at $3 a disc, it adds up fast—but that day I didn't even find one I wanted. Disappointing.

I stood, revisiting the top shelf again just in case I'd missed something, when something did indeed catch my eye—not a CD, a person. A middle-aged guy, wearing chunky snow boots and walking fast. He saw me at the same time as I saw him and I thought I saw a flicker of recognition cross his face. I, however, did not recognize him at all.

His momentum carried him past, but then, to my surprise, he stopped short and spun on his heel. His expression had changed from recognition to absolute rage. He galumphed toward me, his steps loud on the tile, his eyes wide. My eyes were probably wide too. Probably.

I had the distinct impression that the man was going to pick me up and throw me across the room, but much to my amazement (and disappointment) I just stood there and let him come at me. So much for Fight or Flight—apparently my response to immediate danger is Passively and Curiously Watch Yourself Get Beat Up.

He was about a metre away when he stopped short again. Rage changed to confusion, and then to realization, and then to embarrassment (at least, these are the things I thought I read on his face. But really, who knows?). He backed up a step, shook his head apologetically (I think), turned, and fled.

I saw him again later that day; we passed each other on the street, he was on a bike. He looked, in the full light of day, very calm and normal and not at all like the kind of man who would galumph. I thought, what are the chances that we'd meet again?

Some days, it feels like a very small city.