The Moth: WONDERS

Prepare a five minute story about life’s knee-buckling moments. Feeling small under the stars, meeting the love of your life, finding the toy before finishing the cereal box. Expansive views or small, perfect instants. Regale us with tales of ventures into uncharted territory….and how your life was changed forever by what you found there.

My story is one of galactic hope. The kind of hope that you don’t know how badly you need until it finds you. The universe put me on a crash course with a cosmic person. All I had to do was keep my eyes open.

It had been over four years since I had made a new friend. A real friend. The kind you trust and can be yourself with and enjoy doing just about anything with. And I no longer saw a lot of my friends from college because of a recent bad breakup. It just seemed like there weren’t other people out there who shared my interests and the way I felt about life. I was definitely getting used to the idea that my connections were shrinking and not expanding.

The sun was beginning to set in Bushwick. It was early fall. The time of year where the days are still long, but it’s so comfortable to be immersed in the autumn air. My two friends and I walked in the shadows. The sunlight was hiding behind an unmarked building on our right. Just across the street were walls covered in graffiti and drenched in sunlight. The plain blue painted brick wall we were next to made it seem like the other side of the street was a foreign country. We approached the corner of the block. The sunlight escaped from behind the building. It glared into my eyes as I was about five feet from the intersection.

It was the kind of glare that blinded me temporarily. I paused. Just for a second. I could only see black dots and make out shapes. I looked to my right. There was the outline of two people approaching the same corner. I knew this person.

Was I seeing an illusion? I didn’t often go to Bushwick. Maybe there were mirages out there. And what’s more I could feel the moment arrive before it happened. Like my pause to check the direction that was opposite the way we were heading was for a reason.

It was my co-worker. She was with another friend. We had been on the same team for five months and had exchanged probably fewer words. I knew her from afar as determined and intelligent.

She had glitter on her face. We were on our way to the same rave.

We combined forces the rest of the walk there and spent some time feeling each other out. Assessing the situation. I was slightly surprised she was attending. She must have been stunned I was there based on the look on her face. I’ll never forget it. Pure bewilderment. I obviously gave off a different vibe in the office. I don’t remember much of what we talked about except for some comment I made about her being into “this scene.” Needless to say I was struggling. Some combination of disbelief, nerves, and insecurity.

The party had not really gotten started yet when we arrived. It was a huge warehouse with indoor and outdoor space. Thousands of people would show up shortly. Almost zero chance that we would have run into each other at the event. Especially once the sun went down. There was enough time to exchange phone numbers before we went our separate ways. Later on in the night I was feeling more comfortable with what had happened. I debated for 30 minutes whether to text her asking if she wanted to meet back up. Instead I just sent her a message saying that I was leaving, hoped she had a good night, and that we would see each other at work. An anticlimactic ending to the night. But the real story is that she became one of my closest friends and overall favorite people, forever changing my life. All because of that corner.

A few weeks later there was a concert that I had two tickets for that I desperately wanted to go to. Neither of my two friends that came to the warehouse party with me could go. So I asked my coworker to join. Total shot in the dark. She said yes. I was shocked. She knew other friends going and invited me to hang with them before. That night felt much more natural. We definitely had a lot of ground to cover to get to really know each other. But it was an insanely fun time. A true indicator of endless more good times to come.

Rewind to right before we ran into each other on that corner before the rave. My friends and I arrived in Bushwick via subway. When we got out of the station, one of my friends asked that we pause so she could use the restroom at a bar nearby. I mentioned how close we were to the venue. She specified that she preferred to go now. So she went inside. I commented on some of the graffiti to my other friend while we waited. It seemed like forever. I was just excited to get to the party. In reality it took her less than three minutes. Three minutes that perfectly aligned my journey with my coworker’s. What if my friend didn’t have to use the restroom? What if there had been a long line in the bar to use it? What if she had to poop?