Since the middle of January, every day I treat myself to a little drive over to my favorite forest preserve. I get in my car, grab some Dunkin, and pop over there for a little breather in the day. I don’t go far from my car, just sit outside of it and look over the beautiful rolling valleys of suburban Chicago. It’s real quiet there in the morning and I absolutely cherish it.
The thing is sometimes I am not alone. Especially with the weather getting nicer in Chicago, there have been more and more people out there every day. Trust me, as a melodramatic loner I hate it but there are some people who I absolutely adore. You see, my family has the face that makes random strangers just say the craziest shit to you. My dad and grandma make friends everywhere they go because random people just tell them their life stories and I guess I have been genetically gifted the face that says “Yes, random stranger, please share your thoughts.” This has been proven a few times during my Loner Mornings at the Forest Preserve.
The first time this happened was back on February 16th, the morning of the US vs Canada Gold Medal game. I was dressed accordingly for game day. USA jersey, hoodie underneath (as it was like 20 degrees), my favorite NBD sweats, and my token yellow crocs. It was windy as hell so I pulled my hair back into my hood to stop my hair from getting burned off on my cig (sorry mom). That is when this magical moment happened:
Some random old guy who was parked a few down from me was walking back to his car (why he walking at 8am alone only God knows), looked me up and down, and told me I was a “very Patriotic young man” and from that day forth my life has changed.
I was making friends with random old dudes at the forest preserve left and right since that day. I don’t go seeking friendship, they just wander over and tell me something or ask if I’m okay. Maybe it’s the face, maybe it’s because numerous times my friends have described me as an 80-year-old man, maybe it’s divine intervention – whose to say. Regardless of why they all come over to tell me their stories, a magical thing happened on today’s journey.
I was sitting on the concrete stopper, smoking a cig (once again, sorry mom), drinking my coffee, when I hear someone start to walk over to where I was parked. It was the guy who was parked a few spots over. He was probably in his 80’s, decked in similar sweats to mine, making his way over, with a cane, to where I was sat (see: Header Image). There was nowhere else he could be going but over to me. So as I have had so many divine conversations like this before, I put my phone on video in my lap just so I could record what he said. I’ve told my friends countless times about my little friends but I had to give them something to believe me because it was getting ridiculous at this point. That is when I captured this wholesome moment:
I don’t know what I did in life today for God to smile upon me and gift me the most wholesome interaction on the planet but I am eternally grateful for it. He said nothing more, just hopped back in his car and drove off, leaving me there reeling. He got out of this car to tell me, a homeless-looking 22-year-old, an adorable little football joke, and then just went on home. Legandary. I don’t know this man’s name, where he came from, or where he went but as a Lord of this realm, I swear to protect him until my dying breath. It literally made my entire day, nothing can go wrong from here. It’s one of those little things that make me go “yeah, maybe everything will be okay.”
It was a small moment that meant everything to me so I thought I would share. Now I am burdened with glorious purpose, to protect all 80+-year-old men who tell me jokes at the forest preserve.
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