With friends in Maryland

I spent last weekend down in Bethesda with longtime friends who have just had a baby. I’m not in the business of posting pictures of other people’s kids online, so suffice to say that is one cute baby girl. Her name is Genevieve, a wonderfully classic name, and she has a perfect disposition: calm, thoughtful, inquisitive, friendly. Holding her was enough to make me want to have my own kids… someday. Without getting too personal here, after six years of blissful young marriage between Mrs P and I, the elders are starting to get restless, and ask questions…

But another day for that. For now, the main purpose of my visit was to see Phish at Merriweather:

At the Phish show
Behold, the Kingdom

Chance Encounters

The week before, a strange thing happened to me on the New York sidewalks. I saw a guy I knew at Georgetown who I had not seen in nearly 10 years, since we shared one class together: early 20th-century Russian literature. It was one of my favorite classes, one of the few I can even remember (I elected many poor classes); we read short stories by Chekhov and Babel, among others.

This guy, whose name escapes me, was in the class. There were only six or seven of us, though I don’t remember the others. The teacher was an older Ukrainian woman who had immigrated in the 1980s. So I remember we used to have good discussions there, and this guy was a great contributor, but we ran in different circles. Like I said, I don’t even remember his name.

I’m walking to work one morning and look up and this guy is about to jog right by me. He’s jogging along Fifth Avenue while the rest of the crowd is dressed for work and hustling by. I recognized him instantly, then looked away – then looked back. He saw me and knew me as well. We each said something like, “Hey man…”, “Hey buddy…” and hesitating only slightly, we both decided to keep on moving. We smiled and waved in the passing streams of traffic.

A few seconds later I looked back. He turned around. We both waved again, then turned, and it was over.

Good to see you, old friend.

4 thoughts on “With friends in Maryland”

  1. Katie and I still have the direction booklet some place. I’ll be happy to send it to you. Nick saw Phish on Sunday. Almost another chance encounter. Regards to Mrs. P

  2. We often pass strangers in the night. But sometimes strangers turn out to be people we know. I often remember clearly times in Shanghai when, now I have been here six years, I pass someone on the street who I met once in a bar and am surprised to find they are still here. It’s especially interesting when its somewhere totally random, like a part of town where there aren’t a lot of foreigners, or on the subway when you see someone you know, and its not a subway route you normally take.

    I call it serendipity, on my blog. Makes life interesting….

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