The Moment Home Readings Buy the Book About The Moments

I Almost Missed It

I thought she was a blonde. (She’s a redhead.)

The night of the party, I should have been in India digging wells, teaching English, and making a difference. But there was unrest in the region. Just two days earlier, the State Department had canceled our visas.

And so, instead of winging my way over the North Pole, I was on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. At a bacchanal.

A two-room apartment jammed with young, attractive, horny people. One of my bosses was there. I was trying to impress him. I was also trying to impress a leggy cutie who was wearing -- this was the seventies -- pink hot pants. Hot pants!

An older woman arrived. (She was twenty-six.) Katheryn was on the arm of a thuggish brute who I later found out was her ex-boyfriend.

At some point during the evening I found myself standing next to the piano. Katheryn was there as well. In the low light of the party, I thought she was a blonde. (She’s a redhead.)

We talked for less than five minutes. Probably about India. Maybe about our mutual friend, the host; I honestly don’t remember.

What I do remember is what happened next.

The party wasn’t even beginning to wind down, but Katheryn and her ex-boyfriend were leaving.

Suddenly she was standing in front of me. She leaned in, confidentially, and pressed a slip of paper into my hand.

“Call me,” she said.

Here are all the ways it shouldn’t have happened.

I should have been in India.

She was at the party with her ex-boyfriend.

I was chasing another girl.

She was five years older than I was.

Our conversation was forgettable.

I didn’t even remember the color of her hair.

But thirty-three years, six houses, and two grown children later, Katheryn and I are still together.

What I learned from this is this:

Life is random.

There’s nothing you can do to plan for the coincidences and contingencies which will come your way; and they’re likely to be more important than whatever else you think is important at the time.

As John Lennon wrote: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

As George Lucas wrote: “Trust the force.”


No comments yet, why not leave one of your own?

Leave a Comment or Share Your Story

Please Sign In. Only community members can comment.

The Moment Book

Moments from the SMITH Community

Tomorrowland "Daisy, F3," my son Archer says as we pull into our parking spot. Disneyland’s about to open and we've arrived, just the two of us, our last hoorah before school starts. *** The alarm goes off and I pull the pillow tightly over my head. My husband, Hal, offers to wake the kids so I roll over, fall back asleep until Archer's voice wakes me, this time for good. "Hi, Mommy. It's …
Line Break
With Both Hands Whenever I think of my mother, my mind flips to this story. Not to the whole story, but right to the middle of it, the worst moments of it. For me, that's where the story always starts. My mother was beating the hell out of me. The first few blows seemed to come from every direction as I grabbed my nightgown and pulled it over my head, not …
Line Break
Reasons to be Thankful By Robert Israel They scraped me off the street, my bicycle in a heap nearby, and ever so gingerly placed me on the gurney. A crowd of curious onlookers watched intently, thankful they were not being loaded onto the ambulance. The nurses at the hospital were calming as nurses are wont to be, and administered an intravenous tube of morphine, and soon everything around me became fuzzy and numb, and the …
Line Break
Read More Community Moments →
SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.