My version of this story.
I saw the story in the local news several weeks ago that Buddy Guy was to be in town. The calendar got marked. In an email yesterday our good friends said they were going, too. They would try to take up some extra space so we could join them. We packed our collapsible chairs and headed for town.
It was a beautiful evening for an outdoor concert of this blues legend. I often listen to him online. We walked the 3 blocks to the downtown street venue. A warmup band was on stage. We approached from the side and passed the crowded space by the beer tent. I kept checking behind me to make sure Melanie was right there. We scanned the seated crowd for our friends. Nope. Not there up close. We decided to check a little farther back.
We had to go off the street, around a vendor tent, and get up on the sidewalk. It was really loud and distracting. People were milling about. The visual and sound interfered. As we stepped up onto the curb a person we know walked rapidly by us from the opposite direction. Did he see us in that brief moment of passing? I got stopped by a jam of people and waited to let them clear. I was carrying two chair bags on my shoulders and needed to be careful not to knock anyone down. In the wait, I checked a few more seated rows of people. Still no evidence of our friends.
I checked behind me for Melanie so we could proceed. Where was she? I didn’t see her anywhere. Maybe she and that other person we know stopped to chat. Nope. Not back there. Did she go ahead of me? I couldn’t see her anywhere ahead. What should I do?
I decided to wait a couple of minutes to see if she would come find me. We always told each other to stay put if we get separated. Don’t make it worse by roaming around. She was no where to be seen in front or back of me. Now I was getting concerned. The noise and music added to the confusion in my head as I thought it over. Clearly, she was not behind me. That was easy to see. I will go ahead slowly toward the corner where we were originally headed.
I neared the corner and caught a glimpse of her facing away scanning the crowd for me. Relief. Now stay put as I shuffle through this crowd. Don’t move. I reached out to gently touch her arm and let her know I was there. There was a welcome embrace.
We’ve been in much bigger crowds up to a million with the inauguration last January. It has never been hard to keep track of each other. This time a small thing threw us off. It was so simple and quick. I don’t want to do that again.
I’m glad I found my wife last night. She seemed gone way too long. Time is relative to what is going on. It was probably only a brief event. But, it seemed to take forever while it happened.