February 5, 2017 - The Stranger have you ever had a random encounter or fleeting moment with a stranger that stuck with you?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I had one this past summer that still makes me laugh every time I remember it.
The healthcare system I work for is smoke-free, all of their buildings and clinics in five states. This means that when I need a fix, I have to walk off property. On the day in question, I had walked to the Social Security office, which is in the same complex, has the same parking lot, etc, but is "off property" as far as my employer is concerned. There is an area a few paces from the door where people are allowed to smoke, equipped with an ashtray and an overhang in case of weather.
I watched a young man, perhaps in his early to mid-twenties exit the building. His clothes were clean, his body was clean, he was dressed appropriately for place and weather. He stopped a couple of feet away from me, checked the messages on his phone, then turned around, raised his left arm in the universal hug motion and said, "Okay give me a hug. I gotta go."
I pointed to my chest and mouthed, "Me?"
He started laughing and asked, "What was your first thought when you heard me say that?"
I said, "Well, if you were serious, I thought it might be best just to go with it."
He laughed even harder, walked over, hugged me, and thanked me for making his day.