It would have been impossible for me not to have noticed him. He was attractive, but not in a conventional way. Like an alluring fragrance, his presence subtly drew me to him. His most marked characteristic was thick, shoulder-length, wavy, silver hair that actually looked good on a man about my age.
We passed each other briefly as I was walking into the drugstore, and he was walking out. I turned to catch another glimpse of his hair, and was surprised to see him turn around to look back at me. With desperate, hopeful eyes, he said, “Tracy?” as if I was someone he had lost many years ago and would have given anything to see again. Gently, I told him that I was not she. He apologized, but I told him there was no need. He smiled as he slowly lowered his head, and left.
As if I could somehow help him, or at least try to understand who he was looking for, I scanned my brain for any “Tracys” I might know. My friend Nancy has a daughter named Tracy, but surely he wasn’t confusing me with a Bat Mitzvah-aged pre-teen. The only other Tracy I could think of was someone I went to high school with who also lives in this area, but I don’t think we bear any resemblance. And, because I’m a girl, I thought to myself, “I hope this Tracy person is pretty, or at least nice, if he thinks I look like her.”
Had this been a Robert Redford indie-type film, I might have been Tracy, and the story would begin, or, maybe, continue from where silver-hair-guy and I had left off. Had it been a porn movie (and I’m just guessing here, because my exposure — so to speak — to porn consists of “Deep Throat,” like every other college students’ in the early ‘80’s) I’d say, “I’ll be Tracy if you want me to be,” and we’d end up rolling around in the lotion aisle.
I have always had a thing for guys with great hair. Hair was one of the things that attracted me to Richard. It certainly wasn’t his personality. But, I jest. When we met in Sunday School, his hair was longer than mine. It was wavy and thick. Mine was frizzy and big. Now, Richard’s hair is still thick and wavy, yet cropped close to his head. Mine is shorter, too, yet, still frizzy and big.
But, back to this Tracy person. As I walked around the store, looking for Zicam nasal decongestant spray, I kept thinking about my brief encounter with silver-hair-guy. And, because I believe things happen for a reason– that there are no coincidences in life– I felt as though he and I had connected with each other for that brief moment on purpose. I was walking in as he was walking out. Each of us was on a journey and needed to meet the other one for some cosmic reason at that precise moment. But what was the reason? Why was he searching for Tracy while I was searching for a product to unclog my nasal passages? I will probably never know.
For some reason (coincidence? I think not!), the “coincidence” vs. “things happen for a reason” discussion has come up a lot in conversations I’ve had with friends, recently. And, in my totally non-scientific experiences, I have found that some people are total “coincidence” people, while others are total “things happen for a reason” people, and, each person is very adamant about his or her position on the subject.
To me, the “coincidence” believers seem to be almost aggressive about the idea that we “things happen for a reason” people are, well, dope-smoking hippies, which I am, minus the dope-smoking part. The discussions I’ve had about “coincidence” vs. “things happen for a reason” have become as heated as discussions about evolution vs. creationism. And, let me say here, with no disrespect to you creationism people, “Darwin! Darwin! Darwin!”
Knowing I would probably never see silver-hair-guy again, and never find out who “Tracy” was, I had to let it go and continue my search for Zicam. Just as I gave up my search for a product that particular store didn’t have, I realized that neither silver-hair-guy or I found what we were looking for in that store that day.