"You want Carlos Castenada?!" I said to a young man with I-Pod and earplugs dangling from his belt.
"You want Richard Brautigan?!" I said to the young woman with piercings in her lip.
I didn't say, "Well, back when I was a kid and had to walk four miles through snow drifts to my Southern California college, I read everything those two guys wrote. Heck, I even almost met that Castenada fellow. Heck, I even almost told him myself that he was full of crap."
Instead I smiled because I realized I had found common ground. I had a long talk with the young woman and suggested some new authors, new directions. She didn't buy anything, but there was hope.
For reasons unnamed, I've been thinking too much about my Aunt Edie. I never took the time to get to know her, never found common ground. Yet she somehow found common ground with me. She was always gentle and kind, always wished the best. She gave me hope when I wasn't looking. She was an old soul watching over me. I think she's watching still.