My Uber app said I was pooling with “Kimmy,” a lovely Korean lady who greeted me with her surprisingly beautifully cadenced Filipino and a pixie smile when I got on the car. Cut short, it was love at first sight: a chance of a lifetime was coming my way, but, really, what could I say?
Given all the time we were marooned in traffic (not to mention an ample alone time we had all to ourselves when—intentionally or unintentionally—our driver pulled into a gas station to have a washroom break), it turns out it was easier to look away, to pretend not to notice Kimmy as she grinned and stole glances in the dark, probably because she knew I was groping for words, probably because she wanted to talk, too.
I have always believed that there’s nothing strange about strangers at all; what’s rather strange is how we let strangers we meet walk away as the same strangers that they had been. Then again, I reached my stop still with nary a word to say, and, as I was about to alight, Kimmy offered to step out so that I could exit onto the right side of the road. Whether it was something to it or just a friendly gesture, all I knew was that, this time having a clear view of her smiling face, I was in love, her mental picture promising to get stuck in my head now that she’s gone.
I wish I had known beyond her name. I wish she understood how hard it is to be a man. I wish that, maybe, just maybe, she felt how equally hard it was on her part as a woman that I kept her waiting.