There is this man that I have run into the last 3 times I have been at Riley Park.
He is a very very interesting individual.
The first time was roughly a year ago when I was with Janell Bye. We were sprawled out on a blanket having a little picnic and “studying”. He came up to us riding a bike with a basket on the front and started talking to us. He sounded a little bit like a robot, his speech was just so articulate, clear and slow. He was a nice enough guy, and we are nice enough girls so we chatted with him for a while. He asked us our birthdays a little bit about each of us and finally said to me: “You have an important day coming up. On March 15, 2013 you will be 7000 days old.” And then he rode away. I’m not sure if he had said anything else to Janell like this, but we both thought that was a pretty cool encounter.
The second time I met him was a couple of weeks ago. I was walking through the park on my way to work and ran into him. He was on his bike again and came up to me. He asked me how my day was going, where I was going, if we’ve met before. I answered all of his questions, and was excited to tell him that we have met before, about a year earlier (providing no other details about our previous encounter). We had a pleasant conversation, he asked me a bit more about myself and soon enough rode away on his bike, leaving me with “I don’t think I’ll see you again today.”
Today, was the 3rd time I have run into him. I was laying in the grass in the park with my eyes closed, passing some time in the sun before I had to be at work. He pulled his bike up next to me and asked me how my day was. I opened my eyes, sat up and once again had a very interesting and delightful conversation with him. He asked me if we had met before and I answered, “Yes. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago.” He asked me my name and birthday like he had the two times previous and after hearing my answers he said, “We met here last year. You were with a friend. You had lighter hair. Have I given you a nickname? Next time we meet, remind me that you are ‘Raja’. Then I’ll remember more about you.” He asked me what I was doing there, guessed that I was on my way to work again and asked me what time I had to be there. So I told him that I was only two minutes away and had to be at work at 4:00. So he pulled out his watch from his pocket and said ‘You have 14 and a half minutes. Are your shoes good walking shoes?’ I said, ‘No! They’re horrible walking shoes.’ Then he asked me if I would like to take my shoes off and go for a walk.
Of course, I said yes.
He suggested we walk in the direction of the building I worked in and when it was literally two minutes away he suggested we walk a little bit farther since we had 12 and a half minutes left. At this point he told me that walking with shoes on was actually a terrible thing for your feet, so he took his shoes off as well and put them in the basket on the front of his bike and placed my shoes in the basket too.
Then he asked me “What if I rode away with your shoes?”
I replied with “Well, then I would have no shoes!”
“What would you tell people when you arrived at work with no shoes on?”
“That a very nice man took my shoes.”
Then he preceded to tell me a story about a time he walked a friend home and had her shoes in his basket, but when they arrived at her house she forgot to take her shoes and he forgot that he had taken them in his basket. But he made sure to find away to make sure she got them back. (So, I don’ think there was any real risk of him taking my shoes! Haha.)
We walked barefoot a little bit father and ended up in this grassy field. He put his bike up against a tree and said that we probably shouldn’t go any farther because then I’ll be late for work. So he asked me if I wanted to see pictures of other walks he’s been on before. Out of his basket he pulled some photos of his friends that he has been on walks with. There was quite a few of them, but he went through them quickly saying things like “This is my friend Wet Feet at hope park. This is my friend Dark Eyes with a peacock. This is my friend… etc”. And by the time he was done it was time for me to make my way back to work.
He handed me my shoes and told me, “I don’t think I’ll be seeing you again today.” Hopped on his bike and rode away.