“Sit. It’s totally fine.”
“I don’t know. Are you sure? It’s a large table. It’s only myself…”
He extends his arm as if I’m being ushered into a ballroom.
I sit. Minutes pass. I open my book.
“Yes! Yes, of course, yes!”
He sits down. I assume he’s older than my grandfather who has just passed away. He’s cute. Maybe I should hug him, but that might be weird.
“Are you from here?” he asks.
He has an accent. Slightly understandable. Lord, help me understand him.
“I am, I am. I work right downtown. What about yourself?”
“I’m from England. I’ve just flown in yesterday. I’m a journalist covering the election.”
Consider my curiosity piqued. Prepping all vocabulary for whatever may end up in print. How should I tell him my name?
“That’s so awesome. What are you learning so far?”
I move closer.
We talk. He’s also Indian. An English Indian. Intriguing. Personally knows the Prime Minister. Great teeth.
He’s eating some lunch at Pret A Manger before interviewing Rahm Emanuel.
“Why doesn’t anyone like Rahm?” he asks.
Bad things. I name a lot of bad things.
My lunch break is up, but I get his card.
He’s wonderful, I keep thinking. I’m so happy he sat down, I keep repeating.
I move towards the door.
“See, aren’t you glad you sat at the larger table? You met someone.”
“That was perfect.”
And, well, this is how it’s been lately. Though Chicago is an intimidating, extremely large city, maybe it’s best we sit at the larger tables. Maybe it’s best we talk to the person sitting next to us on the bus or the train or the one standing in the cold with us. Because, really, maybe we’re all at a large table. We’re all waiting, thinking we’re alone with our books and our thoughts and our music… but we’re not.
God is showing this to me in so many ways. I’m thankful for this one today.