I was about halfway into my trip, and I made a stop in a neighborhood not unlike my own. I had gotten into a pocket where the storm hadn't yet arrived, in spite of the fact that I had been driving just over 4 hours directly against the front and into the rain. Not wanting my bicycle to get rained on for the next 4 hours, I stashed it inside the car, then walked across the street to try a local beer. The plan was to have a drink, get a bite at the public market a block away, and then continue on. At least, that was the plan.
Headed to lunch, I noticed something on my windshield. A receipt, apparently. I looked more closely and realized it had been written on. "You have a FLAT TIRE". I checked. Yup.
Well, I knew where my jack was, so I got at it. And shortly thereafter, a stranger parked nearby, and volunteered to help. And so, in a random brewery parking lot in a neighborhood named by the Germans who had long ago settled there, I met a man named Corey, who got me set again. He introduced me to his friend, who he was late meeting. I insisted on buying him his first pint, and so had another myself before I walked to lunch.
In not even 10 years, I have shared a pint with many people. Many of them might have had no reason to so much as say a word to me, but there we sat, at least one thing in common: the desire to try an interesting beverage, a new or exciting flavor. There are many people in the world who can and do offer me scorn and disdain, and in many of them it's fueled by the drinks they've consumed. The fine line between blessing and curse stands out to me, that a thing which used poorly can cause so much trouble can just as easily serve as a unifier, an entreé into the life of many a wonderful person.