mysterious stranger - photo of airport walkway for "Reunion" San Francisco Airport

San Francisco Airport Reunion With A Mysterious Stranger

In 2011, I was on my way to finalize my parents' estate.

I had a stopover at the San Francisco Airport. When I’d left home earlier I had no idea I was on my way to rendezvous with a mysterious stranger.  I grabbed my old, favorite sweater on my way out the door. I remember thinking that it was time to replace it, and before I knew it, I had arrived in San Francisco.

The Mysterious Stranger At The Airport

It is twilight. I’ve just finished one of those airport meals and I’m walking to my gate. I look outside and think how beautiful the light is. The exact midpoint between sundown and pure night, when there is an otherworldly brilliance shining (a time I love to shoot photos). The place was is not at all busy, as I walk down the wide corridor searching for my gate. I spot it not too far ahead, and then I notice a man smiling at me, about 75-100 feet away.

I am startled, because his look says to me that not only do we know each other, we know each other very, very well. Even more: he is quite obviously joyful to see me!

I don’t have a clue who he is.

He starts walking towards me, and my memory goes into overdrive. It’s clear he’s coming over to embrace me, and I can’t for the life of me come up with a name or association. And suddenly. . . time slows down, and I take in this man’s absolute beauty.

Tall, Dark and Handsome

He has the proverbial “tall, dark and handsome” thing going on. His clothing is exquisite, understated elegance in black pants, a dark burgundy fine Italian knit short sleeve shirt, burgundy and black tasselled soft leather loafers. All of it topped off with a European man’s purse worn across his torso. He registers my appreciation and then there is my recognition that he knows all about my aesthetic predilections.

He has dressed for me!

All this information downloads in less than five seconds.

Then this mysterious stranger is coming in for the hug and when I see his eyes, dark brown with golden flecks, the terror of non-recognition leaves completely.

This is because I am encountering a most unusual man experiencing a reunion with someone beloved to him – me. Then instead of the expected embrace, he ever so slightly brushes my shoulder and walks right past me.

I am still. “Did that just happen?”, I say internally. A moment goes by until I turn around and … he is gone.

I am rocked  and riveted because I know that whoever that man is, he wants me to figure this out.

As I walk over to my gate, I see that every seat except one is occupied. It’s a nice leather Eames-style chair by the window. It has a Starbucks cup in the holder, and a sweater draped across the back, so I assume it claimed. Another five minutes goes by and no one has returned to sit in it, so I decide to claim the chair.

When I sit, I have one of those ??!!?!?! moments, and I turn to look at the sweater on the chair. It’s a brand new exact version of the old favorite sweater I’d thought of replacing earlier, and I am rocked  and riveted because I know that whoever that man was, he left the sweater on the chair for me. The Starbucks cup is empty.

I love airport Starbucks, and I do my best not to laugh like a person gone completely mad.

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