Saturday, June 26, 2004


The rain was still falling heavily as we ran across the parking lot towards the car. It had been down pouring for an hour and there was no sign of it letting up anytime soon. Kate had offered to drive me to the train station so I wouldn't have to walk in the rain and I figured I would take her up on it. We had just spent a quiet evening with friends hanging out and barbecuing. It was a small group which made it a bit more intimate and provided an environment for some rather interesting conversations. I had just finished telling a story about one of my recent adventures in dating, when I realized it was getting a bit late and if I wanted to catch my train we really had to go.

As we pulled out of the parking lot Kate pointed out how it had been a great way to spend a Friday night, certainly better than sitting in a crowded bar. I agreed and glanced at the clock in the car which showed we had fifteen minutes to drive across town and I wondered if we were going to make it. The week had been long and filled with many disappointments and I was curious to see if I would be receiving an encore performance. We zoomed down the road and she looked over towards the clock and told me it was about ten minutes fast, I breathed a sigh of relief and gazed down the road. Aside from the occasional stop light the roads were relatively traffic free and we were making good time. When all of a sudden we came to a wall of red lights. The baseball game must have let out and the road was quickly backing up with hundreds of cars. I suggested we take a chance and try the city streets, it would require more turns, but could prove to be faster. Kate agreed and we zoomed towards the off ramp and into the maze like network of one ways.

The first few lights were green and within seconds we were deep within the heart of the city. As suspected there were nearly as many cars and before long we had made up for the time lost sitting in traffic. By now the rain had stopped and the visibility had improved, it also made the other drivers more confident and more than once a taxi cut us off and beeped its horn at us. I looked at my watch and knew it would be a close call, but I remained patient and thought if the three remaining stop lights were green I would be on my the train home in a few minutes. As lightning had struck all over the area earlier, bad luck struck me at that moment. One after another I watched as the lights turned yellow and then red. My hopes of being home were becoming slimmer by the minute. After patiently waiting through each light the car stopped in front of the train station. I thanked Kate and quickly jumped out of the car.

I wasn't sure of the time, so while I ran across the street I checked my phone and hoped it was two minutes fast. After running through puddles and around stumbling drunk people I turned the corner into the train station. My worst fears were realized when I read the train announcement television and my 10:40 train was missing. Just 120 seconds ago the train departed from the station without me on board. Apparently my bad week wasn't quite over and I prepared to sit around for the next hour and a half to wait for the next train. Luckily my bag contained a book I had been struggling to finish for over six months and so for once I put the iPod away and did some reading. The station was empty and rather quiet, before long I was whisked away to the island of Tobago and the latest adventures of Mr. Biswas. All of a sudden a man asked me if he could sit next to me, I nodded and went back to my book. A few minutes later I stopped reading and for no apparent reason I looked up. A girl was walking through the station and turned to look at me. She seemed a bit confused, but all of a sudden flashed a smile at me and started to make her way towards me. I smiled back and she stopped right in front of me and asked what to do if the ticket window is closed. I explained how she could pay for her ticket on the train and she didn't need a ticket, especially not this late. She then asked where the nearest ATM was, I began to explain where to find one, in the meantime something clicked in my head. I had an hour until my train and there was an attractive girl in front of me who needed to find an ATM. Thankfully I put one and one together and offered to show her exactly where to find the bank. She thought a moment and then agreed to let me show her where it was since she also had an hour to wait and understood why I would want to get outside.

We started towards the exit and I introduced myself and before long a dialogue had begun. She told me her name and all about why she had come to Boston. I asked where she was from and how long she would be in town. Since politics, particularly the Democratic National Convention, was the reason for her visit, I told her about a debate I had been in with a Republican earlier in the day. She laughed and proceeded to add a couple anti Republican comments to my story. The rain had completely stopped and the night air, while humid had a new cooler quality. We continued to walk and talk about politics and Boston. She couldn't believe how everybody in Boston knew so much about the Red Sox. After what seemed like seconds we were at the bank. After a few beeps and no withdrawal fee we were back out on the street and walking back to the train station. As we passed a bar, I looked at my phone and asked her if she wanted to go in and have a drink. I assured her we had plenty of time and she said, "Sure."

There were two seats left at the bar and we quickly grabbed them. The bartender came over and took our order, I recommended the Blueberry beer, she reluctantly agreed. We once again began chatting about all sorts of things from work to the differences between living in New England and the South. The time flew by, it had been so long since I was completely lost in conversation with a person I had just met. I glanced down at my phone and realized it was time to make our way back to the station. The bartender came over and I paid for the beers and we reluctantly left the bar and were soon back out in the fresh air. We kept chatting and unfortunately were back in the train station after only a few short minutes. A train was announced over the loudspeaker and it turned out to be the one she needed to board. I took out a business card wrote down my e-mail address and phone number and gave it to her. She gladly accepted the card and said she would e-mail me soon. I told her how I had a great time and she thanked me for everything. We shook hands and she walked to catch her train on Track 8. I watched her walk to her train and went back to the bench to read my book. Before long my train was announced and I was finally on my way home.

As my train started to pull out of the station, I began to think about my chance encounter and realized while my bad luck did show up for an encore, things turned out for the best. I was also reminded of a discussion from earlier in the night, we had been talking about people who go to places with the intention of meeting someone. One quote in particular stands out when my friend said, "Only when you stop looking, will you find what you are looking for."

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