The parking lot was a familiar one. The night was young and we were less than a block away from home. I was dog tired and so I made the decision to close my eyes for the few minutes it would take for my husband to run in and return with the few items desired from the convenience store.
Admittedly, exhaustion had clouded my vision. It’s hard to completely explain precisely what happened next. You really had to have been there. But ‘there’ was so many places at once that there’s no real bridge from here, in the secret place where I dwell and the ‘there’ that racism, classism, sexism, ageism would have us believe I live. In an alternate, perhaps even parallel, reality the urgent knocking on the driver’s side window might have startled me. It wasn’t my husband’s knock.
Instead of flying open, my eyes seemed merely to focus on the young black man on the other side of the glass. As effortlessly, I read his sign language, defensive demeanor, attire and stance and, fumbling with neither the ignition nor door lock, mouthed simply, “Thank you.”
He’d wanted me to keep my eyes open, as if he’d been my father or angry as if he’d been an older brother tasked with bringing me home safely from an event he felt I had no business attending.
I don’t know who was more grateful for whose response. All I know is something akin to several miracles happened at once in those split seconds. Something happened that was not entirely of our time and place. Perhaps a message from the universe was simultaneously sent and received. What I know for sure is I am grateful for whatever it is that did and didn’t happen.