A fortuitous encounter

It was night, I was traveling and I arrived into some form of inn seeking shelter. In the midst of the crowd I was reflecting on my day’s experience and wondering how I could sleep. A party was going on and all the inn’s rooms were full, so I ended up mingling with the local crowd instead of sleeping. I was so tired I was in this state of semi-trance that characterize acute sleep deprivation. As the party was going on I was losing track of time and didn’t pay attention to my surroundings too much.

Except there was this guy that I noticed at some point. There was nothing initially special about him, his physique was not outstanding (he was well built, a fair face, but he was blending in with his simple gray/white t-shirt and uninteresting pants), he didn’t even look at me, except he appeared to stop his conversations or stop moving whenever I looked in his direction, even when he could not see me. That caught my attention and I was wondering what was going on. I noticed that after I would glance in his direction I could see him looking around in search of something. Somehow I lost interest and I vaguely remember looking for a corner in a corridor where I could sit on the floor and doze off.

Then something strange happened. This guy was walking by in a crossing corridor and happened to see me on the side. At the moment he looked into my eyes I felt my mind cleared up suddenly and I started hearing soothing forest and water sounds . He stopped in his track for a second, then disappeared; the “hallucination” stopped at the same moment. This surprised me seriously and I started to be quite curious; even more strangely it was clear I was not experiencing the tingly feeling of hart sickening that usually come with instant love, so there was something else at hand. But I was just too tired and I slumbered for what seemed an hour of two.

When I came back awake the night was still dark but the crowd had cleared up around me. I found myself uncomfortable in the cooling atmosphere, and I decided to get on my way. I walked down the building which I realized was actually huge, a sort of stadium made of concrete. As I was reaching the ground floor, I met the usual crowd for an inn restaurant, quite busy preparing for early morning activities.

As I was turning away to go, I crossed his sight. He was serving in the restaurant, a dishcloth over his arm. He stopped in his tracks again when he saw me and stayed still. I found the occurrence strange, and I thought to myself that it was it, that I was leaving and that I would not have the opportunity to get to know him really. I turned around started to walk away. Then it really happened: I heard “sad.” Nobody was around to tell me this, and it rang clearly into my head. I made a few steps, then I stopped. Then in an impulse I walked back to this guy and hugged him; he hugged me back without question. He had not moved since I started leaving. “There are stranger thing that happened today anyway.” I thought. “Indeed.” I heard. I thought “Oh, that’s what’s happening then.” and I heard back “yes that’s it.”

We stayed in this position for a few seconds. I stepped back, he looked at me and said-thought “it was nice meeting you”. I did the same and smiled. He didn’t smile back, and pointed in the general direction of his customers still waiting for his service. He had to get back to work and I had to continue my travel; and so we did.

As I was leaving and waking up, I felt a deep frustration mixed with happiness. I had met the first guy with whom I could exchange thoughts directly and he had clearly communicated to me that I was his first, too. Yet there was nothing from the real world that would justify we stick together; we had to get on with our lives and I was waking up anyway. I will probably never meet him again; and after I have been exposed to this ultimate form of communication and sharing, I will never be able to experience it again.