*Disclaimer: This was written whilst drunk during my final days living in NY*
My favorite, and least favorite, part of travel is meeting people.
I had just quit working at a restaurant. Sooner then planned. (I cussed out my boss and walked out. Fuck yeah.) I took a shift available at a different restaurant working as a banquet server for a wedding. It was nothing special (to me) just a way to make money before I started my new job. While there, the audio equipment started malfunctioning. Being a former DJ, I knew exactly what I needed to do, and so I helped out. Leigh, a gentleman who was the father of the photographer, a close friend of the bride and groom, and also the MC for the wedding, asked me to help due to my knowledge. It simply boiled down to the need of a new cable. My interim boss gave me permission to leave, so I hopped in his car and we drove to the nearest RadioShack.
We became friends in our short adventure. Leigh is a volunteer fireman, among other things. He’s a family man with a wonderful wife and a talented daughter who just graduated high school. And according to him, he is my “fake father” of Hyde Park, NY. Throughout the wedding as Leigh got more and more beers down his gullet, the more “sincere” he got about calling me his favorite son, so I called him “fake dad.”
Leigh is one of many people I’ve had brief, but notable, connections with in my short time living in New York. And I’m reminded of all the people I’ve briefly met in my journeys. Amanda in Orlando who reassured me that I’ll one day be happy. Lindsey in Chicago that complimented my driving capabilities. Nevada in Savannah who joined me in my first chewing tobacco escapade. Alder, whom I met outside a storage unit somewhere in upstate New York, who offered me a job with his production company if I ever moved to Fairplay, CO.
There are many many more people I sadly can’t remember the names of, but these strangers were kind to me. These strangers became apart of my life. These strangers stopped being strangers, and allowed me to join them in their life.
Traveling is like that: A grand journey seldom experienced by us alike. Yet an experience we can all connect with; perceived to its truest aspirations as we explore the unknown.
You let me in. I thank you. And you’re not forgotten.