I you are familiar with old role playing games (or RPG for short) then you know what I’m talking about. Our hero is minding their own business when their surrounding suddenly flashes, shakes or warps. The next second, our hero is facing off against wild creatures, or bandits. You can’t avoid them; you might run away from them, but they’ll find a way to get you again.
And while they might involve flashy magic attacks and powerful sword swings, these random encounters are likely to be less interesting than those that happen in real life. You know what I mean right? You are in minding your own business in the bus stop, with an awesome book paperback book in your hand, half reading, and half looking at the street hoping not to miss your bus. Then suddenly without any warning (because real life doesn’t provide flashes or vision warping) an elderly person (most of the time) starts talking to you. You politely smile and nod or answer while glancing at the book. But this person won’t let your desire to keep reading stop them from talking! Wait- is that just me?
The point is, we all have those moments. And most of mine used to happen at the bus stop or in the bus itself. Here is my most memorable random encounter so far.
2003 was an exciting moment for me, since I was transferring to a bigger college, and I couldn’t wait to see how different it was from the one I used to be. One of my biggest interests was on meeting new and different people. A week before classes started, I had to confirm my enrollment and pay for my courses, which took less time than I expected. Puerto Rico is such a small country that not many people need to stay on campus, so I went to the bus to go home. The bus service in Puerto Rico is also awful; it could be 40 minutes before the one I needed to take passed by (even when the sign says they pass every 20 minutes.)
So I’m sitting in a bench, simply waiting when a man sat next by me. He was all dirty, with a somewhat long beard. You could tell he was a homeless guy. Then he started talking. It didn’t take long for me to know his story. He used to be in love with another guy and they dated for a while. He gave him everything he wanted or needed. And he was much younger than him; somewhat around my age. (gulp) But something happened. (I don’t remember what. Hey- it’s been 8 years! I barely remember what I ate yesterday ok!? But I digress) Somehow they broke up, or the young man ran away and he lost everything. Then he said I had beautiful eyes (my eyes are black) and he asked if I had a boyfriend. I don’t know about any of you, but I believe that having a gay homeless person you met minutes ago, ask you to be his boyfriend is not a very common occurrence.
I’m sure that other people would react violently, yell or push the man away. Some even would call him names. I simply and politely told him that I had to go, since I missed my bus (Hey, I’m an easily distracted person, he did made me miss my bus) and went back to the campus. He told me that he wanted to see me again, but I just kept walking. A ran away from the random encounter.
I was worried, though. If you played RPGs you know that you are bound to meet again that pesky monster you hate so much while walking around the field or a dungeon. I had my escape button ready just in case. But I never saw that man again.