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Ships passing in the night


I was moving through the Cleveland airport last night on autopilot, lost in my own thoughts, when it penetrated my fuzzy consciousness that someone was shouting my name. It was the third shout that got my attention. (I work in chaotic, noisy environments, so I usually ignore everything around me to focus on my task.)

It was a comrade from my outfit, passing the other direction on the opposite slidewalk. He ran back and we embraced and talked for a few minutes. It had been only a few months since I had made a point of seeing him in his home town, but for us to meet by chance, each of us thousands of kilometers from home, in a second-tier airport, was amazing. The odds against it happening are astronomical. It’s been more than a decade since it happened last, with any comrade. We are a small group, and it’s a fair-sized planet. We usually go for years without seeing a fellow co-worker. Sometimes we never meet them at all.

It was a nice meeting. He was changing planes on the way west, and I was heading south. We had only five minutes to talk, because his plane was already boarding, but those five minutes were the high point of my week. The fact that my flight then got canceled (the whole eastern seaboard was shut down due to weather) seemed quite insignificant by comparison.

Ships passing in the night are we.

One Comment
  1. 2012-06-03T20:10:58-04:00 20:10

    Chance meetings like that are always so wonderful and memorable. My problem is that I never recognize people out of context.


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