Yesterday, at SFO, while waiting for my daughter to clear customs, a man with a luggage cart stacked with clear-tape wrapped luggage, approached me and asked if he could use my phone to make a call to his wife. He showed me the handwritten number (I recognized it as a Bay Area phone number) written in the back of a small day planner. Perhaps it was the fact the number started with 526-, the same as the landline that my parents have had for 50 years, or perhaps it was his aged, but kind face; nevertheless, I dropped my “stranger danger,” and I dialed the number and handed him the phone. I could not understand a word they were saying but I recognized JOY. After a short exchange he hung up the phone, thanked me, and handing it back said tearfully, “I have just arrived from Pakistan!” “Well, welcome to America,” I replied. He asked me to please direct him to the exit. He practically skipped away – belying his age – his salwar kameez waving behind him.
A reminder that sometimes we simply want the same things.
~Just L (November 10, 2017)