I noticed that he quickly nodded off beside me; Meanwhile, she and I chatted. We'd just met a few days prior. I knew little of her background, just as the converse was true. But we'd been sharing experiences since the beginning of the conference that had ended the previous day, and now finally had the opportunity to speak of things with less urgency.
I couldn't tell you how we got where we did. Something she asked led me where I went. Having gone there, and with the benefit of the preoccupation of three freeway lanes staring me in the face, I told her a 42 year story I knew well. It was a story I'd had ample time to reflect on and share, but this was perhaps the first time I'd gone through and told all of it together.
Unbeknownst to me, a woman 900 miles away stood in front of a lecture hall at the time, telling her story. She finished about the same time I pulled off in the town at the gateway to a subaqueous tube named for the 16th president, and as I fished out my phone to see what was happening in the world, I noticed the kudos starting. After we crossed the river and unloaded, I spent 30 minutes glued to my screen, listening and watching. The story I heard shared many details to a degree that was uncanny. I'd never met her, but I hope to, someday.
I was not alone. I am not alone. I will never be alone. The thing is, there were times when I felt it, because I had no way to know any better. And I have no way to figure out who else is feeling it, but I desperately wish I could tell them that they are not alone, either.