Out of the corner of my eye I could see a white car inching its way towards me. I was doubled over, beside my own ajar car door, tying my shoe. Parked in a different spot along the usual route; I was prepared to explain my ritual to a new face. Looking up from my laces I could see that the person driving was an old woman hardly high enough to see over the steering wheel. Popping and crackling of loose gravel slowed beneath the car’s tires. Then, before the passenger’s window had finished its decent, the sweetest little old lady voice that you can possibly imagine chimed, “Do you need any help?”
“Nah,” I began, “Just parking here for a bit so that…” But before I could finish, in a voice now laced with disbelief, astonishment and sheer joy she exclaimed, “You’re the one who runs!”
I laughed, “Yea…” but again was cut off by a giddy, “I see you run by here all the time!” She squinted her eyes then leaned forward, placing her elbow on the passenger seat to get a better look. “Where’s your headband?!”
Laughing again, I reached down for my apparent signature accessory, “Haven’t put one on yet.”
She looked at me, wide-eyed, as if I were a figment of her imagination- a unicorn, a mermaid, or Bob Barker. Any minute I expected the old woman to leap from her car, snapping Polaroids of me to prove to the girls at Pinochle club that I wasn’t just some half naked mirage who occasionally ran past her house as she drank Ovaltine at the kitchen sink. “The One Who Runs” really DOES exist. And here I was. In the flesh. Standing five feet before her very eyes.
Then, I became equally entertained (by her bewilderment) and for a long moment we just gaped at each other in utter fascination.
Finally she interjected, “Have fun. You made my day.” The gravel crackled as she drove away.
Thanks lady. You made my day too.