Proof the World is Small


Yes, I lived in Washington DC for ten years, but that was twenty-two years ago. This was the first place I came after graduating from college. It is where I worked, made friends, played, married Russ Lange and eventually left.

Today, in the snow covered city I went to visit the new office space for Russ’ business to help plan the build out. Once the subject changed from furniture and paint colors to technology I excused myself and left Renee to handle the real work. By that time the sun had broken through and some sidewalk shoveling had taken place. I decided I should walk back to the hotel so I could freshen up before getting on the Metro to go up to Bethesda to meet my friend Tricia.

One of my big reasons for volunteering to come work on the DC office build out is that I really wanted to see Tricia. The last time I saw her was this past summer at her husband’s funeral. Tricia and I went to college together and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding. Her husband Danny was one of my favorite people on earth and now in heaven. Although it was important for me to be at the funeral I certainly did not get the quality time with Tricia I needed.

As I was walking along M street navigating my way across the slush filled corners to cross the numbered streets I came upon one corner whose lake of brown melted snow and ice was much too big and deep for me to traverse in one step. Although it would mean I had to go the wrong direction and walk on the non-sunny side of the street I turned to cross M street rather than the numbered street. As I looked up at a man standing on opposite corner I recognized my ground zero, very first new friend I made in DC, the man who introduced me to almost everyone I knew here, who lived above me in my first brownstone and became Carter’s Godfather, David MacKay.

Dressed in a big black coat with a black bucket hat pulled down over my face, scarf wrapped around my neck I screamed, “Hi, David.” He cocked his head, wondering who the hell I was, then in a split second he recognized the voice he knew so well, but did not expect to see. I might be able to walk around downtown Durham for a month and not see someone I know, let alone someone I love.

This has to stand as proof of how small the world really is. If it had not snowed the night before thus closing David’s office he would not have been on that corner at that time. If he ever had learned to cook he might not have been on the corner buying a sandwich at that time. If Renee and I had not been so efficient in doing our work I might not have been on that corner at that moment. If the water had not blocked up my path, causing me to change directions I might not have seen him standing on that opposite corner.

At my reunion with Tricia she reminded me of something I had written about my desire to spend more time keeping in touch with people I have known a long time and loved forever. Today’s chance meeting was confirmation of that. I had not let all my DC friends know of my trip because I was not sure how much free time I would have and I wanted to make sure I did my job. But now I know I need to come back soon and do a better job planning real quality visits with old friends. I think that running into David is a fairly strong message from somewhere to pay attention to old friends.

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