"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts."—Albert Einstein
Today I met Clark Kent. He was on Craigslist.
Or at least that's how I saw it.
We met because he had advertised some concert tickets that he couldn't use and I was looking for discounted tickets to the very same concert.
I'm a bit leery of making any exchanges via Craigslist. Especially ones that might require me to meet in a back alley somewhere or a back street or a back anywhere. I've heard stories. But I'm trying not to believe all that I hear. I want to make my own decisions about things.
Still, out of some collective fear that I made my own, I hesitated in contacting the post.
The thing is, I really wanted to treat my friend to this concert for her birthday, so I mustered up all my will and courage, typed up a response to the post and hit SEND.
Within a few hours, Clark wrote back willing to take me up on my offer for the tickets. Now all we had to do was decide on a meeting place.
He suggested a Starbucks in Seattle and that felt safe to me. After all, there would be people around, just in case it was all a scam.
We decided on 10:30AM this morning. He let me know he'd be reading the news on his iPhone and that he had big, black-rimmed glasses.
Without much to go on, all I could think about was Clark Kent. He's the first person who came to mind. Black-rimmed glasses and the news just had Clark written all over it.
I texted my friend to let her know the plan.
She wrote me back and said, "If I don't get a text from you by 11:30 saying you got the tickets, I'll call 911."
"Don't worry," I said, "I think this guy is safe."
There were two Starbucks in the shopping village where we planned to meet. He let me know that he'd be sitting outside the smaller one to the north of the shopping area. I parked my car in the North parking lot and located a map to find my bearings. The star on the map indicated that I wasn't far from the Starbucks where we planned to meet.
I sent him an e-mail message on my phone: I'm here, but now just trying to find Starbucks
He wrote back: Where are you? I'm out front of the smaller Starbucks, not the bigger one.
It was like we'd known each other forever, yet we hadn't even met yet. We were already sending short messages to one another about our whereabouts. Was this normal? I thought Shouldn't I be a bit more discreet?
In the distance, I spotted it. It was between an Apple and a Windows store. I suppose Starbucks was strategically placed in the middle as sort of a neutral zone between these two rivals. A place where people could relax and not think of their affiliations. Where people could just be people.
Clark was sitting there between these two computer giants in a button down, baby-blue shirt that matched the clear blue sky. His big, black-rimmed glasses were on the tip of his nose and his nose was in the news—the news on his phone anyway. His hair was slicked back and he looked as if he must be on a business break. He wasn't a freak or a pervert or a scammer or a crazed lunatic, he was just as I had pictured him. He was an exact replica of Clark Kent.
He looked my way and smiled.
"Hi!" I said.
"Hi, how are you?" he asked, fumbling a little with his phone.
"I'm here to pick up the tickets," I answered.
Something about his calm, yet slightly clumsy, nature made me feel like it was okay to sit down, so I did.
"Why don't you want to go to the concert?" I found myself saying.
"It's my girlfriend's birthday and she doesn't want to go, so I'm giving them away."
I found this so ironic. It was also my best friend's birthday and that was the precise reason why I was getting the tickets. I could tell he was a big fan of the band. He mentioned seeing them once at Bumbershoot and said they were great.
He asked me if I'd ever been to the concert venue before. I said that I hadn't and then he launched into a discussion about the type of lounge chairs that I should bring to this outdoor show.
After about ten or so minutes of conversation, he handed me the tickets and I handed him the cash and we both said our farewells and walked off in opposite directions never to meet again. For all I know, he could have tiptoed off to the nearest phone booth to change into his BLUE suit with the "S" on it. Or perhaps, since I haven't seen a phone booth in a very long time, he disappeared behind the Apple and Windows stores, in the alleyway where the Starbucks garbage dumpster reeks of week-old pastries and coffee grounds.
Who knows where he disappeared to.
All I know, is that you just never know. I've decided that I'm no longer listening to what people say about this or that. I'm going with my own hunches. This time my own hunches led me to a pleasant encounter with a friendly person who, for all I know, just might be Superman.
You just never know.
Do you tend to follow what the news or what others say about things, or do you trust your own hunches?