I took three of the children out to collect Pokemon today. I sat on a bench with my book and tried to get lost in the words, but I kept getting distracted by everything happening around me. Everyone was walking around with their phones, playing a silly game. A trio of middle aged women giggled as they stared at their phones. Twenty somethings alone, in pairs and in groups, wandered about, stopped simultaneously, then wandered more. A security guard on a Segway was hunting for the imaginary things. The participation alone was something I could have noticed and then ignored, but that wasn’t what was more interesting than my book.
Strangers were walking up to each other and pointing out places to look. A guy with dreads helped some frat boys. Shop workers chatted with children who were showing their collection to anyone who wasn’t ignoring them. A 20-something stopped and explained some nuances of the game to my 11-y-o. Stacheman interacted with eeeeveryone. It was amazing.
While people on social media are alternating between pithy memes, the usual MLK quotes and blame, this was two hours of real people being kind. It was surreal how happy everyone felt. Maybe I slipped in a crack and visited a timeline where the news wasn’t reporting how awful everything is everywhere. I don’t know. I only know that it was nice. Better than nice. It was perfect.