Time: 6:00 PM
I walked into a coffee shop in Leicester Square.
I wanted to get some work done and my apartment had started to feel more like a prison cell than a home.
I wanted to be somewhere quiet enough to work but with enough distractions to not get bored.
I stood in line waiting to order when I saw her.
She was with two friends, one guy, one girl.
She didn’t notice me but I couldn’t stop noticing her.
She had olive skin, average height, short hair with soft curls.
At this point I had gotten my coffee and was now just idly staring like sociopath.
I knew that if I did not talk to her now I would rationalize a reason not to.
I put my coffee down on a table close to me so she wouldn’t see that my hands shaking.
Took a deep breath and marched over to her. I was hoping that my confident stride would mask my anxiety.
I said something like “Hey! Couldn’t help but notice you get pretty animated when you talk”
She gave me a big smile. Her guy friend gave me skowl.
From there we talked for thirty minutes as if her friends weren’t there.
I found out she was half Indian/half Italian.
She studied economics but wanted to do something more meaningful than working for a bank.
We had playful banter, talked about philosophy and had started making plans together for the weekend when her guy friend reminded her that they had to go see a play that was starting soon.
She pulled out her phone and told me to find myself on FB so she could add me. I did exactly what she said, added myself, and hugged her goodbye.
The last thing she said to me was “Cannot wait to see you again”
I was ecstatic.
If I knew how to dance, I would have moonwalked across the coffee shop.
I knew I wasn’t about to get any work done.
My mind was pregnant with possibilities of what could be.
“My Dad met my mom on a tour bus in London. Could it be that I had met my wife in London too?”
I went home. Drunk on the romantic connection. When I finally got back to my apartment. I went to my Facebook to accept her friend request. But it wasn’t there. I refreshed the page.
My best friend Juvian called me Skype. I told him what happened. He started laughing. I didn’t think it was funny.
“You don’t get it, we had a connection!”
He paused for a second, then asked
“Would you feel this way if you had the same conversation with a guy?”
“What! Of course not!”
“What about if she was like way less attractive?”
“So it sounds like you just had a good conversation with a pretty person”
In that moment I realized what he was getting at. Have you ever met someone of the same sex (or opposite sex for gay readers) who was really cool? Him/Her was into all the same stuff as you, you both had similar life philosophies, and the same sense of humor? Do you call that having a connection?
No, you simply think “That guy is pretty cool, I might hang out with him sometime.”
Hollywood hasn’t sold you on a story that there is only one guy friend in the world for you.
Love is one domain that life does not imitate art.
A connection isn’t something that can be forged in an hour or a couple days. It takes a myriad of experiences together, vulnerability, and yearning to understand each other.
Connections are something you build with a person. It’s not something that can be had without effort. It’s not something you force; it’s something you let happen and nurture as the relationship matures.
The whole Hollywood concept of connection is superficial. The idea that you can know you have a connection with someone from your first meeting with them is ridiculous.
You can only tell if you have a connection with someone in retrospect.
Your feelings aren’t evidence of destiny.
And sometimes a good conversation, is just a good conversation.