The People We (Sometimes) Meet

Monday, March 6, 2023

Ever see or meet people who pop in for a brief moment in your life only to never be seen again? These are people we may have met in the grocery line, or observed from afar. Here are a few:

The Peace Guy

This guy ran on the opposite side of the road in front of the elementary school every morning. I’m in the right lane, he’s on the edge of the street even though there’s a sidewalk. He wears a different colored 80’s style sweatband on his forehead and thick, black rimmed glasses. His hair bounces up and down in rhythm to his steps. As soon as I get closer, he gives me a big grin and his right hand holds up a peace sign. Happy running, Peace Guy! I smile and wave as I go through the school zone. Every morning, at the same time, there’s the Peace Guy. I don’t know when I stopped noticing him. Did he move? I’m sure wherever he is, he still puts a smile on people’s faces, at least those who take the time to notice.

The Boy with the Doughnuts

There’s an eighth grader who comes to the library every morning. He’s quiet, signs in, sits in the back corner and puts down a small white bag. It sits to the right of his Chromebook. Sometimes he does homework. Most days he sits with a girl and they chat. Last week he brought a pair of canvas shoes he proceeded to color with alcohol ink markers.

One day I asked, “What’s in the bag?”


“You must live near a doughnut place or get up really early to have enough time to stop for doughnuts.”

“It’s on the way, my mom stops to get me some.”

“Well, you know, if you’re bringing doughnuts in here every day, you should bring me one too,” I tease.

Sure enough, the next day, he stops at my desk on his way to sign in. “I brought you a doughnut. It’ looks like you like chocolate.”

“You didn’t have to, but I’m glad you did. Thanks.”

He drops off my doughnut and assumes his place in the back corner, the little bag of doughnuts, neatly folded, waiting for the bell to ring.

The Lady at Target

There’s a lady at the checkout lane at Target. She usually sits on a stool and since Covid, she always wears clear plastic gloves. Her curly gray hair is sometimes pulled back, but she usually wears it down. She’s polite and chats with every person who goes through. She comments on items as she scans them.

“This must be new, it’s so cute,” she says scanning a hoodie.

I know she’s from New Mexico because she chatted about it with the person in front of me. I don’t purposely seek her out, but it seems I wind up in her lane more often than not. Next time, I need to make sure I read her name tag and thank her appropriately.

4 thoughts on “The People We (Sometimes) Meet

  1. Love meeting these people in your day! The Peace Guy reminds me that a woman who looks like a retiree walks BRISKLY along the divided road that is a main thoroughfare in my city every morning at about 6:45 a.m. with a yellow reflector vest (the kind we wear for outdoor recess and bus duty). She walks on the should because there isn’t a sidewalk (that’s how busy this road is). I’m always wondering if the ambitious walking cancels out the amount of exhaust that she inhales at this rush hour. I also wonder why she doesn’t wait until the traffic thins and most people are at work to take a walk. When it’s warmer in the day–like I do on snow days or during the spring or summer breaks. hmmmmm . . . I admire her chutzpah!!!


    1. Some people are creatures of habit. Knowing the woman in the reflector vest walks along a busy thoroughfare makes me nervous, yikes! After writing this, I started remembering more people from years past. I may add more later this month.


  2. I love this post. It makes me think of all the people that I’m glad to encounter who don’t know how much I like seeing them. I’ve saved your post to use as a mentor text for me. You’ve brought these people to life with the details you shared. This post also makes me think of the book Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting. Have you read it? It’s told from a variety of perspectives of people who ride the train every day, and they all have names that they’ve made up for each other.


    1. Hi Natasha. I love people watching and imagining who they are. I’ll have to put Iverson’s book on my TBR list. I’m glad this post is something you can use later. Thanks for popping in!


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