Thursday, March 3, 2011

Everything happens for a reason.
At least that's how the saying goes.

A couple of months ago I was sitting on the boat in the Houston Texas area, and was given the news that I wouldn't be getting off the boat at noon with the rest of the crew as planned.
This happened during one of those recent winter storms that pummeled the U.S. and clogged up the airline traffic patterns for days and ruined many a crew change in my industry.

My relief, who was coming from Columbia ran into flight delays and wouldn't be arriving to the boat until 10PM.
So as my fellow crew members skipped off the boat in the afternoon singing "Freedom" by Richie Havens , I spent the afternoon and evening pacing like a caged cat, thinking, woe is me.

When my guy finally showed up in a gleaming new rental car, I headed up the highway at a relaxed pace toward my hotel, where I would stay until the next morning.

After driving for a bit, I pulled into a convenience store for a snack. I ended up talking to the proprietor for about 30 minutes. He was from India, but he had recently visited Philadelphia, my stomping ground, and he excitedly told me about his trip. As we chatted, I thought to myself, if I had gotten off the boat when I was supposed to, I would have never met this nice gentleman. I would have cruised up the highway in a car packed with thirsty seaman, itching to get to the first bar just inside the airport.

Upon leaving this store, I made eye contact with a down on his luck dude who was hanging outside the store. It turns out he was from Camden, NJ, which is just a stones throw across the Delaware River from Philly. We talked for a while.
He asked for some money and I agreed to buy him a sandwich from inside. He said that would be great.
Again I end up spending some quality time with this guy and think again, I would have never met this guy if my relief was on time.
Out of nowhere I bumped into 2 people with whom I had some kind of connection, in Houston of all places.
Interesting, isn't it?
Both guys have made an obvious impression on me, because here I am months later thinking about them.

I often wonder how "down on his luck dude" is making out.
On a unrelated subject, the snow is gone, almost.

1 comment:

Joey said...

Absolutely fabulous post, Mark! It's all about the timing. My then future husband and I introduced my BFF to his BFF 23 years ago and they ended up married. His BFF observed something one day. If my sister had not died (way back in 1959 at the age of 11), my parents never would have moved to our little town and I would never have met my BFF and she would never have met my husbands BFF and their 3 children would never been born...timing. I know it's not quite the same as your story but there IS a common thread. Thanks!