And he comes from Spain. Don't pronounce his name like us simpletons in CA, though. Try DA-veet, and you'll be closer.
I talked to him at the airport because his shoes were off, and he happen to sit by me. Chance? Fate? It wouldn't soon matter.
That's so smart
I said to him not knowing that he would become part of the next four hours of my life...even though the flight from SF to SD is only about one hour.
Is dis normal...what's da word...procedure?
He asked me about having to take his shoes off at security. This and his accent led to a full barrage of questions.
He was from Spain, and a teacher of children, looking to improve his English. He had spent the last few weeks studying in New York, and was now on his way to San Diego where da surf was bedder.
I was just amazed that I had never thought of this before. Why not wait to put my shoes back on at the gate? Why the rush to put them on right away at security? With all his accent and all our conversation...it was the shoes. It was the shoes.
Flash forward and we are back home. I checked a bag in SF because I discovered putting a suitcase in an overhead compartment with a bum shoulder is not so easy. It was a little embarrassing to ask my five foot nothing boss if she could "stow it" for me on the way to SF...this time, I had planned ahead.
I watch the conveyor belt travel counter clockwise. Around and around. I hate checking bags because I have places to go. I'm busy. Why wait? I have to go home...to do...something? Nothing? I don't know what. All I know is that I need to be there.
Then Da-veet walks up, he is waiting for bags, too, and I think about his shoes, and how brilliant he is. Innocently I ask where he is staying, and he tells me downtown San Diego.
And thoughts of my feet being free and running in sand fill my head. I can be this guy. I can do it, too. So I ask Da-veet if he wants a ride. I was in no rush after all...and a pressure let go that started in my toes and slowly worked its way up my body. It empowered my hands and tingled my fingers. My hair stood on end. And my bag came onto the conveyor belt. It was time for the adventure to begin.
He had two bags the size of dead bodies, so I joked that he couldn't kill me if he was a mass murderer. He laughed. His English is really good. We shoved his life into my car and started towards downtown: All I need is the address.
And while he looked, he discovered he didn't know where he was going. He had a phone number with no address. My ten-minute adventurous jaunt became an hour. Then two. We called a number. Then another. I spoke to someone in Canada. He accidentally called the San Diego police department. We sat on First Street, in The Gaslamp, parked in the yellow as he fiddled with his papers, and I struggled with an iPhone.
He apologized. And he apologized again. He apologized for apologizing. His accent grew thicker. His words failed him. His shoes tightened.
We eventually found his home, and I let him know again and again that it was no trouble. I had nowhere to be. And as I dropped him off, I remembered the image of him carrying his shoes and sitting down next to me...and how lucky he really is.