At the grocery store this afternoon, I ran (almost literally) into a most lovely elderly gentleman. At the aisle intersection, he insisted I pass first – “Beauty before age,” he said, and I couldn’t help but smile and perhaps even blush a bit.
Outside, we saw eachother again and struck up a conversation on our joint walk home. He told me tales of our neighborhood before the shopping mall existed, when it was just a farmer’s market, and when one could walk across the CBS lot. It was a time before gates kept us out and kept us safe, where security wasn’t a word tossed around in casual conversation, and when people actually strolled in LA. He recalled those times fondly, and also expressed his fascination with what it’s become today, and all the different kinds of people that the weekends attract.
When it was time to part ways, I felt a little sad for our moment together to end. I really enjoyed speaking to him – or rather, listening to him. Living in a place like Los Angeles, one is most often surrounded by overheard conversations about the lives of the young, lives yet to be lived and perspectives yet to be gained. As we said our goodbyes and have a nice days, I thought to myself how fortunate I was for this chance meeting, and I hoped our paths would cross again.