The other I was walking home from work – which is a bit of a hike, but it was a beautiful night, so totally worth it – and I noticed this woman wearing the prominent red-green-yellow combination of Bob Marley shirts.
I walk faster than her, so I would pass her quite easily. I’m really not always very good at jaywalking though, because sometimes I still forget which direction the cars are coming from in this country, and then almost walk in front of a truck or a bus or something. So, I usually only jaywalk if there is absolutely NO traffic within my field of vision.
This meant that she would often catch up with me as I was standing on curb , waiting for the friendly green man to appear and signal that I should cross the street.
She, with the confidence of a born-Australia, would just cross the street.
I would usually give in to my paranoia and wait.
We passed each other about four times over the course of an hour. She would wander across the busy intersection, dodging cars, and I would pass her during uninterrupted stretches of footpath.
Finally we both arrived on a corner at the same corner at the same time, and I figured “Screw this. We’re obviously going in the same direction”, pulled off my headphones and said hi.
What followed was probably the slowest walk of my life, but also a really wonderful conversation.
Her name was Kara. She lived in St. Kilda, and was skipping a meeting, because it was too nice of a night to be rushing anywhere. We talked about travel, and different ways to see the world. We talked about the shocking joys of public transportation after growing up in small towns that feel a million miles from anywhere. We talked about fear and discovery, and the importance of wanting to learn.
I don’t know if she walked the way to the beach. I turned off and went down the hill towards my house.
Sometimes, the most beautiful people are the ones who are just…going your way.