I adore meeting new people. I love making friends that you meet once in real life and end up chatting with on Instagram for six plus years. But I also love those people who you only hang out with once, you get one interaction and that’s it, that’s your story. There’s a beauty in a stranger, a magic in the never really knowing someone. A great memory of one truly solid interaction. In my head, they tend to go like this:
You’ll probably see them first. Although they might’ve already made note of you without you realizing. You’ll never really know.
But you’ll notice them. They’ll have a certain aura about them, a mysterious glow that makes you wonder, What’s their story? What brought you both to this exact moment? And are you really looking at me too?
You’ll start to feel the tether between the two of you form. It’s a light thing, barely noticeable, but it’s there. And though it won’t stay for long, maybe not for longer than the evening, it’ll strengthen over the hours. You’ll approach each other and feel it snap into place.
The conversation will flow easily. There will be lots of eye contact and slight smiles and miniscule innuendos. There are other, likely as interesting people around, but it won’t particularly matter. Not tonight.
You’ll start off with a group, and seemingly the interest is friendly enough among the crowd. You’ll all bond over bad tattoos and cringey date stories and tales from your solo travels. But you and them, there’s a little more left unsaid. A bit kept under the table. A very loud silence in the space between where you’re both sitting.
As the group moves along to the next spot, you’ll both catch a moment. They’ll compliment something specific and gauge your interest by your response. They’ll take the hints you’re giving that yes, you think the same of them as well.
This is where the fun starts.
You can start being more open with them, the jokes get more obvious and the statements more bold. Maybe your hands will brush each other, their fingers will make light strokes on your upper thigh, and you’ll have an idea of what might come later. Or might not. Half the fun is in the question itself.
It’s such a sweet luxury to connect with a stranger on this type of level. To have access to a person you had no idea existed hours before, to learn about someone new, to experience someone different, there’s a magnificence in that.
The beauty of a short but sweet connection like this is this person essentially remains that way, a complete stranger to you. You get to continue to write your own narrative about them or never write anything else about them at all. They stay what they were–a complete mystery and an overhanging question: “Would this look different if we ever met again?”
The beauty of a stranger is, you never have to answer.