I meant to write about this a few days ago.
Kind of like I mean to do a lot of things before I (or if I) actually ever get around to doing them.
The intention is usually always good.
Anyway, let me introduce you to Jack.
Jack is an outgoing guy, to say the least. Our lives crossed paths one day, not too many days before today. I was sitting by the glass windows in the library when he came down the stairs. I looked casually just to see who was descending from the upper catacombs of our fair library to find a face smiling back at me.
Ok, fair enough. I wracked my brain to see if I recognized this guy, but I definitely had never seen him before.
I glanced away but can't help looking back up just to find him still holding eye contact. He walks toward me where I sit in one of the four empty chairs.
"Can I sit here?" Jack asks, a sparkle in his eye.
Of course I say yes, he seems pretty interesting. So, Jack settles in across from me unloading his books on the other half of our little round table. I move my stuff politely while he jokes about how lame he is for spending seven hours in the library on a Saturday. At least I had just got there about half-an-hour prior, but still, Saturdays are kind of lame spent in the library.
His surfer boy-esque face cracks a warm smile, his green eyes still shining.
I introduce myself, we shake hands. Firm, solid handshake.
I pretend to go back to my readings, he opens his book, then peeks from over the top of cover, "You know when you read and read and read and nothing actually ends up sticking? Then you end up re-reading it, vowing to concentrate and you understand the words but not all the words together because you don't really care?" he asks.
"I'm doing that right now," I laugh.
He nods, satisfied with my answer.
A beautiful, black girl with long corn-rows comes down those same stairs and he knows her. They talk for awhile and while I pretend to go back to my readings, I eavesdrop. He's a grad student. He's into liberal arts/humanities stuff. He's funny and has a lot of friends. Ok, cool.
They chat for awhile reminiscing about good times and catching up. It's sincere. She parts.
I still pretend to be reading.
He smiles at me again. I, not sure what to do, ask him what he's reading. "What are you reading?" I ask.
"This book on a feminist hatin' on feminism. I support many feminist ideals but they just always make me feel like shit for having a penis."
"She's not a very good feminist then," I reply, "It should be about equality." Well that opened a can of worms (excuse lame expression please.) We delve into an hour conversation about the pressures of the media, how the way we are treated in grade school does/doesn't determine our future selves (he went to PenHigh and used to be an ass, apparently) and even about the future of journalism and why he couldn't be a teacher like I want to be.
He was amazed that I do hot yoga everyday and complained about it being such a huge trend((stay tuned for future blog entry regarding that topic)). The thing is, it didn't matter how heavy the stuff we were talking about was, it seemed malleable and accessible in our hushed library discussion. He swore frequently and used expression like, "yeah totally" and "fuck, you totally get it man."
He has a girlfriend btw.
We chilled for awhile and then he was going to get picked up and I was about done fake reading.
He got up and shook my hand again, looking me in the eye, "Kayla, right?"
"You have to promise me, if you ever see me in the library to say hi. Ok?"
I promise, and make him promise to do the same thing.
He says, "I'm not just one of those assholes who pretends not to know someone if he sees them."
"I never thought you would be," I reply.
Then with a smile and a 'have a good evening' or something to that extent, Jack walked out of my life, for now.
That's an hour with a UVic stranger. It honestly doesn't really matter if we do see each other again, there was something prescious about meeting someone and being able to even have such an extensive, beautiful conversation.