If you can’t go fishing…

There are moments when sentiments from a complete stranger offer a peek into the character of the person you are meeting for the first–and likely for the last–time. In my recent move to Michigan I had many errands and little details to attend to establish a new home—unpacking, stocking up, cleaning up etc. On a rainy day, I made a trip to the local shopping mall, where I met a young man in the mall elevator. He was well put together. Clean cut, tall, young man with corn braids wearing some sort of work uniform—black pants, white shirt, a smart, patterned vest with a gold / brass name tag.

We waited for the elevator as strangers do without making eye contact or conversation. When the doors finally opened to elevate us, I invited him to enter first. He insisted in a kind and gentle manner that I step on first. Once in the lift with the door closed we stood across from each other in awkward silence. Never caring much for such silence I took advantage of the foul weather… “Crummy weather eh?” I said. I thought it a fairly innocuous comment but he replied with such clarity about where his heart and mind were under the cloud of a long day at work. His return was perfect.

“Yeh, these are the days this place (the mall) gets crazy. I mean if you can’t go fishing, what else will you do?”