The Canadian Imagination

What it means to be Canadian; examining and reworking Canada as a nation.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Serendipity

I missed the last bus home. Completely my responsibility: I saw it across the street, thought to run for it for a moment but not at all certain I was going to make it and not really caring if I did not (it was a beautiful night, the third in a row!), and somehow I was thinking all the time that this was the second last bus. Even after I checked the time, for some reason it did not register at all with me.

Future sleep happened to be of relevance, so instead of walking I waved down a passing taxicab, told him the destination, and (as sometimes happens) we started talking. He started by asking me how my day had been, but in that way that made it not simply a conversational opener and filler but the beginning of something real. Asked that way, it has been my experience that most people really want to talk about how their day had been, and with only a slight nudge from my side it quickly became apparent that this was no exception.

But then, after the Airing of The Incident to a Complete Stranger (and now I am hearing the echo of Ruffled Puppy's "voice" in the way I find myself writing that last bit!), the discussion rapidly broadened, to tease at areas as far removed from each other as abortion and economic theory. On some things we agreed. On others we did not. We both apparently became so involved that when we reached my destination he turned off the metre and (very much on his initiative) the conversation pulled me back into the vehicle and continued - on a busy fare night! I have the feeling that if it had been a slower day, we might have stopped somewhere and continued that discussion over some appropriate drink.

And all I had done was to listen, and to respond, and to laugh together. It had not stolen even a minute from my precious time.

Laughing, we finally left it hanging on the question of why every portrayal of Adam and Eve shows them as having navels ...

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