Standing in the hallway of the 20th floor this afternoon waiting for the elevator, a neighbor of mine exited her apartment and walked towards me. I would guess that Ella is in her early 70’s, she dresses in fashionable clothing and is always wearing cool, funky jewelry. We’ve often stopped and briefly chatted in the hallway or elevator, but have never had more than a three minute conversation.
“How are you dear?” She asked this with a sincere grin on her face and a sense of well-being vibrating around her.
“I’m doing pretty well!” Before I had a chance to reciprocate the inquiry, she started reporting a collection of her recent joys and experiences.
“I just got back from two weeks at the shore, and before that I was in Ireland taking a painting class! Next week I leave for Florida. And I have a man-friend!”
The last comment was offered with raised eyebrows and a slight nod, and I couldn’t help but grin at her and say, “You seem so happy, he doesn’t happen to have any friends, does he?” She let out a roar of laugher and patted me on the shoulder. The elevator arrived then, the conversation came to a stop and she walking down the hall to the trash room. I boarded the elevator, but stuck my head back out and shouted to her back, “I’d wish you a good day, but I have a feeling you will have a good one regardless of what I say.”
She looked back and smiled, saluting me with her plastic trash bag. I rode the elevator down to the lobby, inwardly chuckling and enjoying the memory of the conversation.