I was becoming acquainted with fellow-future-passenger Rosa'Lea when the train headed towards Canada pulled in. As passengers disembarked, I said, “I'll know someone who gets off that train.” She laughed at me. I laughed at me. Frankly, I didn't think there was anyone I could know getting off that train.
After a few minutes of staring, I guess I sort of gave up and started talking to her again.
But then, this orange-capped red-haired dapper fellow was waving to me....
I ran full speed and gave him a “haven't seen you in forever” hug that I generally reserve for old friends. Thing is, I had never met this guy – ever.
During my time in Cascadia, I got to sleep in the spare bed of Sarah Henderson, whom I've known since 5th grade. She makes really rad jewellery (Copper Creations – check it out!) and has a sweet apartment on Capitol Hill.
Night one, she told me there was this person I should meet – Nyklus. She said he lived in Astoria, Oregon. I guess she told him too and before long he sent me a message on Facebook. We sent a few messages (4?) back and forth before he called.
Our first conversation, spanned over 2.3 hours.
He called again – more communication.
We wanted to hang out in person but, well, he lived in Astoria and I was in Seattle. I was departing from the state soon and it was hard to find a way to make it happen.
Finally, a plan came together. He was going to a Unitarian Universalist conference with Sarah the weekend of the ninth down in Corvallis, Oregon. He would come up to Seattle for a few days first and then we could hang out. After that, he could just get a ride to the Con with Sarah.
The day before I was supposed to meet him, I got a call from my grandmother. She needed a care provider for my grandmother starting in an hour and lasting for 24 hours. I love my grandparents and also, well, the cash could come in handy, so I ran over right away.
I texted Nyk and told him I'd be delayed a bit but could get to Seattle sometime after 4:30 PM. Well, just a few hours into my shirt, I learned that Grandma needed someone another 24 hours and couldn't easily get anyone else. Well, I guess that was me they needed. I would be working, in total, from 4:30 PM on Wednesday through 4:30 on Friday.
The thing is, Nyk was leaving at in the afternoon on Friday.
There was no way to make this happen.
I missed seeing him. I was leaving the next weekend (and working in the middle of the week, again) so I wouldn't get to meet him until I got back to Seattle who-knows-when.
Yesterday, he sent me a text asking if I was still in Seattle. I told him I was leaving tomorrow. Turns out I was missing him again, he was planning on being in Seattle on Sunday. Missed him by one day.
So I was playing this game, “I'll know someone getting off the train,” and then, low and behold, there is Nyk, just as surprised as I was.
I don't think you get how crazy this is.
We'd been talking from different states for about a month. We had missed seeing each other twice. I'd never met him and then, there he was at the train station an hour before I was leaving for Washington D.C. via Chicago.
No. He wasn't there to see me. He was accompanying a sick friend (a friend who was sick) to Wenatchee.
And he was going to be getting on my train.
This guy is even more enjoyable in person. I had had a month to build up some preconceived notions of who he would be in person. He surpassed any expectations I had.
It was odd, too, just getting to know someone in person for four hours. It was weird that he had to get off the train because I really didn't want him to. I love travelling on my own, it's how I get around, and, well, this let me see how rad it can be to travel with another human being. It was lovely to have someone to talk with and share a quilt with on the train.
I hope he goes to New York next month.