The auditorium at the university was packed tonight, a total sell out. I was on my own attending the lecture by Maya Angelou at The University of Western Ontario, my alumni. The ticket to the event was my birthday present from my son who knew I would appreciate the experience. Parking was horrendous and I had to park way off campus, at the edge of a dangerous construction site, cross a busy roadway and hike over to the hall with my temperamental sciatic backside acting up. Out of puff, I settled down at the first available seat, (general admission), and politely engaged in conversation with the lady beside me. After a moment I realized she wasn’t much of a talker or maybe just shy. The program started shortly and I became engrossed with the storytelling, poetry and wisdom of the sassy, lovely, wise Maya. I took lots of notes and was gently moved to tears. That’s the way I roll.
When the evening was over I just sat back and waited for the crowd to leave before attempting to maneuver the stairs and congested hallway to the main exit. I had already made up my mind to take a cab back to my car to avoid falling etc in the construction area on the walk back to the car. As luck would have it a nice shiny cab was waiting and I jumped in, a bit like Cinderella, in my own mind. As the traffic was terrible with everyone leaving the campus, the driver and I chatted. He was a wonderful guy. By the time I finally got to my car I had learned about why his family had left Turkey and how he felt about the politics surrounding his homeland and how he is managing life in Canada. We also discussed Maya Angelou books as he had looked her up on the internet when he heard of the big event tonight. He had “Not the end of the book;” by Umberto Eco and Jean-Claude Carriere on the seat beside him and wanted to know what I enjoyed reading. ( I haven’t had a man ask me about my reading preferences for……well, never…..excepting of course, my blog friend. I told him about the book, The Royal Game by Stefan Zweig that I just started ( recommended by my blog friend) and he knew it was short stories but hadn’t read it. Amazing! (No, I’m not being gullible here.) When I told him I liked Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath , he grinned and at length, discussed the politics of the great piece of literature. Safe and sound at my car, we shook hands and I paid the fare. Darn, I wish he had been sitting beside me at the lecture.