I was at Firestone in Fuquay with my daughter’s car getting a headlight fixed. I checked in, looked around and saw a soda machine. It was mid morning. I’d run in the morning and was thinking, if they have Diet Dr. Pepper or Diet Mountain Dew they’ve got my money. It’s a very small facility and a middle aged African American man near the soda machine startled me when he looked right at me and said “I’m vaccinated. I’ve got both vaccinations”. He thought I was worried about sitting close to him. I truly was looking at the soda machine, but went right over to sit down. What a good decision.
Darian wanted an interaction, and much as my plans had involved listening to my book on Audible, his were different. He started out by telling me about the job he was applying for: driving new cars to people who bought them. I hope he got the job and feel sure he did. He told me about other jobs he’d had most of which were in New York City. So many jobs. He was very proud of a job he’d had as a Bellboy at The Plaza. He’d run into many famous people including Mohamed Ali. He was most excited about having met Mantute Bole (I had not heard of him). He stood up to show me how tall Mantute was. “I’m 6.5 and the man towered over me”. He asked me if I was a teacher. When I told him I worked at SAS in software he told me he wished he could have learned more about software. He talked about a few classes he was considering taking at Wake Tech. I told him that he absolutely should take some classes but not to worry if he didn’t like it. I told him you’ve got a great work ethic and I’m sure will do well whatever you do. When they called my name I paid and walked back over to him to shake his hand and thank him for the conversation.
After all the shut downs, masks and socially distancing of the last year and half, it was great to have a spontaneous genuine interaction with Darian.