This poem is dedicated to those encounters we least expect in our everyday lives.
For me, beginnings tend to be rough,
Except for when I ‘met’ you.
When we were in elementary school,
Your family moved next to mine.
Your parents threw shindigs
Calling on people from near and afar.
We drank our virgin mojitos,
Chomped down on our BBQ sticks
And hot dogs, and most importantly, gossiped about friends. At the time,
I liked you as much as I liked grilled cheese and pickles.
Suddenly, you moved away. We never said our goodbyes.
My beginnings with you never advanced into anything more.
According to my parents, you moved to San Francisco,
Which was my dream city to live in.
For the first few weeks, I constantly wondered where you really were.
This curiosity soon faded, however, as your role in my life diminished.
Our lives advanced separately
Until a few months ago, when I finally figured out what happened to you.
You came back for university.
Those repressed memories from childhood flooded back into my mind.
By the time you arrived,
I was already on a different continent.
This past December, I went home.
Our paths finally crossed.
On the day we ‘met,’ I saw your gaze from afar.
You were not easy to notice at first
Amongst the large throngs of people
Hustling and bustling down
The busy streets of Vancouver.
I looked into the viewfinder of my camera and caught your gaze.
You spotted me. I stood there as still as a bronze statue.
You entered the shop. So did I, cautiously.
The look of familiarity and forgetfulness in your eyes made me question
Whether you were the same individual I knew so many years ago.
You carried a notepad and Sony mirrorless camera as you
Queued to make your order.
I wanted to make conversation.
My curiosity spiked when I noticed that you ordered my favourite drink,
A chai tea latte.
I walked towards you.
I smiled. You smiled back.
I looked at your camera. You looked at mine.
I opened my mouth. You glanced down.
For a moment,
I lost the ability to form words.
"Our cameras. It must be our cameras..." I thought.
The sound of your voice, caught inside your camera, found its way to my mind.
Our beautiful little thoughts encapsulated in a device that captures fleeting moments.
Somehow, we became strangers again.
Beginnings are hard to let go of:
Cherish them too much, and you lose touch of today.
In Vancouver, my beginnings were laid.
In Vancouver, my beginnings begin to fade away.