At the bookstore cafe’, moving through the line, when the feeling of someone noticing me presents itself. Not looking, but I see – he is dressed far too well for the bookstore. I am disheveled. He lingers, asks about the book I’d purchased … a children’s book, delightful, titled Goodnight Yoga: A Pose-By-Pose Bedtime Story. I look away, but he draws me back, saying he has a son, 6 years old… wonders whether he might like the same.

(Illustrations in the book are by Sarah Jane Hinder)

I show him the illustration on the cover: girl in playful yoga pose, whimsical. I think my own son would scoff at it, but he is 17, and calls his mother “hippy dippy.” So I say, “Well, it is yoga.” His son lives in Hawaii, he tells me. He would like him to do more for himself… everyone dotes on him too much. I think aloud, “He must be charming, and what a nice life in Hawaii.”

He laughs, “Unlike me he is handsome, charming with ladies, and smart.”

Which was the perfect time to emote, but I missed it. I hear myself say, “Good luck!” Before I realize myself I am at the door.

Alone in my car, I revisit the conversation. Emerging from a long marriage, I have no idea how to function as a single person, only the sincere wish to be a more attentive partner should a next time come around. I have so much to learn. Even in this small interaction, I missed so much about this man… the way he worried about his son far away … the gentle, reflective way he looked back upon years that he sees as less aware.

He was thoughtful, interesting, and I liked him, but was too wrapped up in my own trip.


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