It has become very apparent over the past decade that no wherever I go I make friends. I am overly outgoing, friendly and talkative; everyone I meet is a fast friend. These fast friends grow in not only numbers but in the relationship as well. I see these friends in all my travels, sometimes weeks or years later, and we are right there back in that moment of which we left long ago. No matter where I go, state, country, bar, hiking trial, park, I run into them time and time again. It has been said to me that there isn’t a place I can’t go that I won’t see a friend of mine.
This weekend was that weekend for me, I traveled to Malvern, Pa to there annual dog festival. I wasn’t there but 20 minutes and it happened. Dawn and I had caroused just a few booths before we came upon a balloon artist. Now a balloon artist is not a clown, clowns get dressed up and do simple one or two balloon animals and crank them out as well as face paint or any other myriad of things to entertain. A Balloon artist only does balloons and they do them very well. She was making all sorts of backpacks, hats, bracelets, as well as figures for the people in line.
I stood there and watched her work, she was quite skillful. I soon noticed that I had seen these techniques before. I knew the techniques because I knew who she learned them from. Once upon a time I was an active balloon artist as well. I saw how long her line was and couldn’t help but offer my services. Now I didn’t recognize her yet, as soon as she gave me her card it hit me. In an instant I knew everything about her; name, where we met, her family, business, personality, the last time we talked, anything and everything.
My neurons were firing making the connections. For me it is like having a three dimensional room in space. There are people, video clips and pictures which connect to images and info. I can select one thing and blow it up, pause it, deconstruct it, rotate the image like I am right there in the room in time. everything that is connected to that person, place or thing, can be brought forward. Every interaction, pertinent info, there is even a bio of what I know. Tristen, I met at Twist and Shout a few years ago in Boston.
I said to her “Tristen its Steve.” “Steve Jones?” she replied. “The pretty one.” When I was at Twist and Shout everyone confused me with the other Steven Jones, since he was more talented I went with the better looking one. Her eyes lit up, in that instant she knew who I was and that I could possibly keep up with her. Over the next hour and half of twisting balloons we caught up, laughed and just enjoyed the fun. It was just like it had always been, fun, full of laughter, smiles, and most importantly balloons.
These chance encounters how random, rare, and beautiful are a reminder of how everything important it is to take the time to get to know people. Each person we meet is someone that I may see again. The best part of these encounters is that one specific moment where you make that recollection of all the good things you two did. there is nothing like running into that old friend randomly and having that full appreciation of surprise and excitement. This is but one story of the many friends I have made over the years. I am looking forward to these moments, these long lost friends of mine, the new friends I will make on the trail.