I was putting on a baseball cap this morning, and picked up my Boston Red Sox cap. It’s grey. I picked it up while I was on tour in the city of Boston. And as I put it on my head, I was reminded of this story that I’d like to share with you now.
It was a Friday afternoon, and I had decided to go out exploring. I wandered down to the theater, walked around some shops, in and out of various establishments, drinking in what the city had to offer. I had seen a cute guy walking ahead of me, but he disappeared into a store, so I paid no more attention to it. I went about my day, visiting three or four different other shops.
About an hour had transpired, and I decided that I needed to grab something to drink. I approached the street vendor, ordered my Diet Coke, and then took it to sit on a nearby bench. As I was walking to the bench, I noticed the cute guy from before. He was currently engaged in a passionate conversation on his cell phone, but for one brief moment, our eyes caught. It was almost like a scene out of a much more progressive advertising campaign for Diet Coke (you know…one of those that would be shown overseas, but never here in the United States since half of the country seems to be left back in the stone ages). Anyway, I smiled, and tipped my soda in a “hello,” and then proceeded to sit down. I sipped the carbonated goodness, watching the street performers in front of me (a doo-wap group, and a juggler) and just took in my surroundings.
About five minutes later, the guy came up to me, and said hello. He introduced himself as Patrick. I introduced myself back as Harry, and we exchanged pleasantries. He apologized for being so rude on the phone, he would have come in earlier, except he was trying to rectify his bill with the electric company as he was getting ready to move to Jerusalem to study abroad.
I asked him what he was studying, and he mentioned he was going to be a rabbi. Today was his last day in Boston.
We made small talk, getting to know each other more and more, and after about a half an hour, he said he had a couple more errands to run…things to buy, et cetera, before he left. Would I like to accompany him. I said yes, as my call at the theater wasn’t until 7:30 that night and it was only about 2:30 then. I had nothing else to do but explore.
We walked around, went into some of the shops I had already visited, some new ones, and just continued to talk, getting to know each other.
After a couple hours of this, we started feeling hungry, and decided to go to dinner. We found a nice out-of-the-way pub, sat down, ordered our sandwiches and salad, and continued to talk. It was getting close to time for Patrick to head home. But he said he would walk me back downtown near the theater.
As we were walking back, we passed a street vendor that had all sorts of variations of the Boston Red Sox caps available. Lime green, purple, red, yellow, brown, rainbow, and grey. And out of the blue, exactly at the same time, both Patrick and I said, “I really want a grey one.” No prompting. It was just out of the blue, something completely by chance.
We looked at each other for a moment, and then, without saying a word to each other, went up to the vendor and each purchased a gray hat. We put them on as we walked around the city. We continued our conversation, and then went back to the theater. He gave me a hug, and wished me well. I wished him well, and we said our goodbyes. And he disappeared into the night.
It was a totally random, and completely chance encounter…but one I think of every time I put on that baseball cap.
So, wherever you are in the world, Patrick, I hope life is being kind to you. I think of you fondly whenever I wear my cap, and always look back on that one day with happiness.