I ended up waiting all afternoon for car repairs recently. It was an oddly interesting experience, as people took then vacated seats, while I was the mossy stone that stayed.

The first person of interest that I encountered was a young girl, manhandling a giant dog without a leash. The dog made a beeline for my position, as animals tend to be mysteriously drawn to me. I learned that the dog’s name was Lady, as befits such a noble looking English mastiff, when the girl apologized for the canine attack of affection. It was hard not to laugh, because the pretty little blonde sounded exactly like Luna Lovegood! Maybe the dog was really a hippograph in disguise….

A harried woman in an adjacent chair fielded a flurry of calls and texts, as she enjoyed a day off from her real job while planning her mother’s birthday party, including out of town guests. The party planning seemed like more work than any regular job might have required, unless she was a paid party planner.  If it seems I know a lot about her, it’s because people tend to talk to me as if I’m not a stranger, much as animals flock to my side. No clue why.

As we sat chatting, a nearby TV was on The History Channel. At one point Ms. Party Planner announced that the channel needed to be changed. “That’s man TV!”. No kidding. Direct quote.

I’d been trying to catch as much of the program about the struggle for dominance between Early Man and Neanderthals as I could with the brain part not engaged in trivial small talk. I barely smiled, and pointed out that it’s usually set to The Weather Channel or The Speed Channel. That was apparently deemed even worse. She was at a loss for words and soon escaped the intellectual torture when her car was ready.

Then something really cool happened. An older woman across from me, who had contributed little to the trival stuff, suddenly came to vibrant life. We both had long waits and spent a good portion of that time discussing the plight of early man, as we enjoyed “our” TV show.

We commiserated with the poor early woman forced to give birth in the great outdoors. The freezing, snowy great outdoors. We wondered how they ever survived such primitive conditions, segueing into comparing the “primitive” lives of our grandparents to the much worse existence of early peoples.

We learned, shared knowledge, and became borderline soulmates, in that brief time. Then her car was ready and she left, sparing a lingering glance toward the TV screen and other car owner with whom she had enjoyed passing the time.

I watched her go with a little regret, this stranger friend-of-the-moment. It makes me a little sad to realize I remember the kind, intelligent face of a woman whose name I’ll never know.