Have you ever been in a shop, where some lady suddenly starts throwing a loud tantrum and you and the other shoppers are left staring, wondering if the manager murdered her dog? Amidst the chaos, you look around and catch a stranger’s eye. You’ll share a knowing look. A silent conversation passes between you, “The lady must be crazy.” “I totally agree with you.” Now, you are both in on a secret, you’ll share each other’s thoughts for the moment. A connection is formed.
Life throws at us ample such opportunities to connect with a stranger. A shared smile when your favorite song comes on in the club, an exasperated look when the waiter mixes up your orders, a laugh over a funny scene in a movie, the moment when your hands briefly touch the same book at the bookstore. In that instant, you have learned something new about the stranger – their favorite song, their favorite food, what tickles their funny bone or their preferred reading genre. These little moments are lost in a moment of their passing. But sometimes, if we are lucky, we have a chance to witness these connections develop into something more, something special.
Dan Reynolds voice about the hidden demons in my eyes rang through the headphones, and I surrendered myself to the rhythmic beats of my current favorite track. It had been a long day at work and I was looking forward to a relaxing journey back home. My reverie was rudely interrupted by a wailing sound of a child tugging on his mother’s clothes, demanding to be taken home that very instant. After a few moments of incessant howling, I lowered the volume of my music. I looked up, a look passed between me and the guy sitting across me. “Oh god, not after this long day.” “I know, right? I feel as tired as you look.” The silent conversation. I didn’t know it then, but that was when the first connection was formed. The moment had barely passed, when his phone rang, echoing the song in my ears. I smiled at him and pointed to my headphones, indicating the coincidence. His answering smile marked the second connection.
I cannot help but wonder, if it hadn’t been for that crying child, I may never have lowered the blasting music in my ear, and would never have met that stranger that has been such an important part of my life for two years now. Within that single moment, one unknowing stranger was responsible for the accidental connection of two strangers. Is that what fate is?