(A Chance Meeting)
We were wandering idly down Katoomba Street,
When an old friend and his wife I chanced to meet:
A furtive companion from my childhood days
When we roamed the backstreets of Blackheath; lanes and byways...
His brother and I were the best of mates,
Riding pushbikes and billy-carts, developing traits...
Of ‘coolness’; if such a thing can be quantified.
We slicked back our hair; wore tight jeans, studded belts and forever tried...
To fit in with the ‘in’ crowd: it never seemed to occur!
Didn’t we smoke the right cigarettes? It’s now all a blur.
We even started a band in his father’s shed,
Guitars strung with piano wire, drums made from paint tins, ahead...
Lay quite different paths to wander; I wondered:
Has he endured the same stresses as me? Blunder...
As we do through this life more by accident than design;
He looked older than me, though I am his senior – well past my prime.
An embarrassing silence fell as conversation stalled.
How sad that we had nothing now in common; I recalled
An amusing incident fifty years before that...now seemed lacklustre?
His eyes rolled skywards; my lady stifled a yawn and said I all a fluster:
“Well old china, it’s great to see you but we must dash
Into this...gem shop; for we must now part with some cash
For an order that we placed some weeks ago – oh look it’s raining!”
Straining, as we were now to get away with promises to keep in touch, feigning...
Regret at cutting short our encounter we made to leave.
“Just a sec” said he, “we’re going for coffee,” grabbed my sleeve,
“Join us later and let us have a gander at your grand purchase.”
My heart sank. Entering the gem shop; my lady turned and gave a look of menace.
Several hundred dollars later with my credit card afire,
My lady, very helpfully, had found a large lava Geode Amethyst,
Admittedly it was very beautiful, but alas this story has a cruel twist.
My erstwhile friend’s partner returned quite breathlessly.
“Sorry to disappoint you but you see we’ve had a minor catastrophe.”
Away she flew with over her shoulder: “catch you soon”,
I was miffed. But the drift is that my lady was over the moon!
“I’ve admired these stones for such a long time.”
“How fortunate we ran into your old friend – what a sublime...”
She carried on at length about our new enormous paperweight.
The moral? A Chance Meeting is Hence a Magic Net; don’t fret, accept your fate.