While you’re sitting here reading this blog, sipping on your coffee and trying to get into the swing of a new week. While you’re going through your emails that always seem to pile up over the weekend and asking your co-workers how their Saturday brunch was. This morning, when you finished that loop around Riverside Park at 7:30 a.m. and you watched the Manhattan skies melt into shades of pink and tones of orange over the rising sun. Last night, when you finally fell asleep after watching too many things on Netflix and having one too many popsicles to soothe your newly root-canaled tooth.
In every moment of each part of your day, of your week – of your entire life – there has been a man living his life, too.
He’s been catching the train uptown and down, going to the gym on the other side of town. He’s been thumbing through his Blackberry at the crack of dawn, checking on the status of a project and replying when it’s urgent (and when it’s not). He’s been having some beers with his group of friends – from college and beyond – watching the Olympics and laughing at the same joke he’s heard for years. He’s been worried and excited for the future, he’s overslept and he’s not been able to fall away. He’s experienced countless things you’ve yet to hear about and has wrinkles around his eyes that you’ve yet to see.
But he’s been somewhere in this city, or somewhere in this world – thinking of you from time to time.
Like when that pretty girl he fell so despairingly in love with broke up with him suddenly. Or when someone he used to bar hop with, picking up ladies and enjoying the single life, proposed to his girlfriend. Maybe it was when he saw his dad lean over to his mom and plant a kiss on her cheek and she returned the gesture with a smile that tells the tale of the decades they’ve spent together. He thought of you when he became an uncle for the first time and held this new life, this tiny little human in his hands and realized it wasn’t just another baby in a stroller, but it was a new person related to him. And then again when the temperature dropped well below freezing and he laid alone in his bed, in his apartment, on that street he paid a broker to live on, and wistfully longed for someone to hold. For someone to really, truly, completely love him.
It’s the same place where he’s wondered, just as you have in scattered moments that are more frequent than you’d care to admit, if that special someone really exists for him.
Is there a beautiful woman who is successful and independent, but loving and thoughtful? Does she have those long, glorious legs that always get him going? Will her smile stand out among the rest? Will he really know that she’s the girl when he’s dated so many in the past and never had a clue? What will they share in common? Will she run? Will she cook? Will she be able to hold a conversation just as easily as she can sit peacefully on a Sunday afternoon, watching something mindless and sharing a beer? Will he be able to see that future he wants, that family he craves – with her? Will she be what he imagined or will she be something more? Or maybe just something different?
What if she’s already crossed his path and he didn’t realize it? Could he have missed his chance – or is it still there? Where is she?
Where is he?
Is he twenty blocks away or across the park? Has he even moved to New York at all – or will he ever? Was he a little off or did something to turn my tastes away and I overlooked this man? Does he turn left in the mornings and I turn right? Is he in the next train or the next building – in the local elevator and not the express I always take? Is he away on business or busy starting one of his own? Has he seen me and not be able to work up the courage talk to me? Have I noticed him and thought I’d never have a chance to be his? Has he made me laugh in passing or is he a face I know, but never considered more?
Is he reading this very post right now?
On any given day, every single day of the week – I couldn’t begin to count the people I pass. Or the strangers I talk to briefly or make eye contact with. How many handsome strangers I share a smile with or a fleeting second that instantly escapes from my memory. In a city that’s full of mostly people you don’t know, but hundreds you see constantly – how do you ever know if any of them will end up being something more? If you did happen to meet someone or see someone who would ultimately become your someone, would you even remember your brief encounters?
In many ways, the anonymity of the city can be overwhelming – and frankly, pretty lonely. But in some sort of magically odd way, it’s that same disguise that can inspire you. Because while you may not know their names or take note of the spark that flew as the train took off or the light turned green – you know that in just another minute, you can feel it again. The energy, the electricity of the streets makes you realize that opportunity exists everywhere. Possibilities are actually quite endless and enduring – if you’re open enough to let them happen.
And if you believe one simple thing – he’s out there. Somewhere. Right now. He may be breathing the same air, looking at the same spot in that big blue August sky, wondering where you are, too. He could be half-way around the world or literally next door. He could be a block away or someplace really far away. Regardless of where he is or where he’s going – the comforting truth is that yes, yes, yes — he is out there. And one day, out of nowhere…he’ll find his way next to you.