Tuesday, August 28, 2012


A few minutes after 3pm today I started yawning and could not stop. These yawns were starting to run into each other and overlap, creating that strange muted DRUUUUUNN static noise between my ears. I took this as a sign to venture down the 31 flights to get some coffee. On ice, of course.

On my way back up, I run into an older gentlemen at the elevator bank. In his 60s I would guess. He's wearing flipped up shades and a button up shirt. He compliments me on my tattoos in a gravelled voice and I say thank you, glancing down at my own arm. Some days I forget they are exposed. He says to me, "Lift my sleeve up I'll show you mine." His hands are full, so I reach up(he's tall) and lift the short sleeve cautiously. Only skin. "I don't see anything," I say, to which he replies, "It's higher on the shoulder like yours." The tattoo is a symbol, one he had done in New Zealand. Exclamation points rise up above my head, I'm sure of it. New Zealand! I am just beginning a slow dance of intrigue with New Zealand, so I press him about it. He lists places casually as we get on the elevator: Australia, Tahiti, everywhere. Everywhere, he says. The doors close and we push our floor buttons.

"I've already hit everything on my bucket list so I don't care anymore really," He tells me with a chuckle. The elevator dings onto his floor and he wishes me a good day while extending a closed fist to me. This gentlemen is offering to bump knuckles. Bump knuckles! I grin and bring my fist to his. We bump the knuckles. He's gone. I'm left in the elevator smiling. Not even smiling but beaming. Ear to ear and around my head.

Why did this impact me so much? Why am I writing about it here? Because it was random. Because it happened. Because I do not want to forget a moment like this, one that split my mouth into a grin wider than I've exuded in a long time(too long). Because I needed that moment, and the moment was unexpected. This anonymous person my sudden new hero. I would love to say I never forget how amazing we are as human beings, how much power we have to influence each other, but I do forget. This was a reminder, a gentle shake of the shoulders. Some bumped knuckles on an elevator.

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