Dearest Rachel –
It’s tricky writing to you from the A/V booth, especially during rehearsal. Never mind the fact that dictating to Siri is basically impossible (and even if I tried to do it, it would still be kind of rude); I basically need to be reacting to the band’s needs at any given moment – and they’re constantly hopping around from song to song, and line to line – so my attention can’t really be anywhere but on the computer and the slides. You know how it was when you used to bring food to the booth on Sunday mornings; I could barely acknowledge you, even as you did your best to steal a kiss from me as payment.
Equally challenging is to deal with the phone calls in the middle of rehearsal. Never mind the fact that my phone never rings on Saturday afternoons – or almost ever, come to think of it, save for spam calls that, more often than not, simply hang up on me in response to my answer of “can I help you?” But when someone is actually on the other end of the line, I’ve now committed myself to a conversation I can’t actually juggle with the music and lyrics going on in front of the auditorium.
At least Jenn was sufficiently perceptive to realize what was going on, and gracious enough to keep her message short. But I suppose, like with me and my dreams, she had to let me know about what she’d seen before she forgot about it.
Granted, her opening question was unexpected; even if I hadn’t been dealing with the activity outside of the booth, I’d have been thrown off balance: “Have you seen Rachel at Mariano’s?”
What? Why on earth would you be there, of all places? And why would Jenn think I’d have seen you there?
Of course it wasn’t like that at all. There is, apparently, one of the clerks that goes by that name. Unlike me, your name is fairly common, after all, so I shouldn’t be too surprised that Jenn – or any of us – would encounter someone else by that name. But there was more to the story than that, otherwise I doubt that she would’ve caught Jenn’s attention. No, what really stood out with the fact that she, like you, was dressed head to toe in purple.
Again, I suppose that’s not really all that unusual. It’s a pretty color, and one that it would seem that females gravitate to, especially if they’re not fans of pink. But the combination of the two things got her attention, and she had to tell me about her. As she put it: “And so it continues.”
Yes, it does. You’re gone, but there are other Rachels, other people who have claimed purple as ‘their’ color – and sometimes, there are people who are both. And there will be others, I suppose, for however many years this earth continues to support humanity.
Meanwhile, I’m left to regret the fact that I don’t bother to go through a standard check-out line when I stop in at Mariano’s. Sure, I’m there at least once a week, as it’s en route to the folks’ place (and, more to the point, my ‘office’); I’ll pick something up from time to time either on my way there or back. But I’m always using the self-checkout, both for efficiency’s sake as well as to avoid human interaction. It’s in character for me (and very much against your character), but it means I miss out on encounters like the one Jenn had, and wanted to tell me about.
Of course, who’s to say I would have had her as my clerk? And who’s to say she would have been decked out in purple? It might very well have been that her appearance today was a coincidence, as opposed to the lifestyle choice it was for you. But it was enough for Jenn to see her, and remark upon her, and that’s all that matters. You have a spiritual successor in this grocery store clerk. Even if it’s only for this one encounter, it’s a reminder that there are others like you out there, and that’s all we need to know.
Until next time, honey, keep an eye out for me – and those other Rachels out there.