You would be the first stranger I’ve ever met on my own terms. A time and place as strange as a child in a bar late at night. Yet there I was, being bored of my Game Boy while waiting for a dance class to finish. I looked toward the bar and you invited me over.
Under the rhythm of the muffled feet shuffling & the creaking of the hardwood floor I walked over to the chair next to you. Bar chairs back then required me to climb, but somehow we met eye to eye once I was seated.
You talked in a nice tone and wanted to tell me about yourself.
You were a soul fluent in life, yet with brittle flesh. You told me all about how your life went and how it made you wind up in this bar. About how you failed to achieve what you wanted to before you could. You showed me wisdom from experience rather than guesswork.
You gave me advice I took to heart to this day: plan ahead.
I would envy your honesty and wisdom for days to come. I did not poses the words to describe my thanks. Nor would I have the chance to ever utter them to you. Instead I asked to play a golf game on your Sony Ericsson.
Once the dance class was over and two strangers called me and my siblings to go back home. The driving stranger got angry at the barkeep for letting me talk to you.
I wondered what things you might tell me next time we meet. But you would not show up in that bar again.
Years later I regret not seeking you earlier. My life is more fruitful because of your advice. However, this crisis that blemished our happy days likely took your life.
Thank you wise stranger, you taught me to think twice.