Rich O’Keeffe Contributing Writer
I had an experience the other day that has gotten me thinking and wondering. And you may just get something out of this.
First some background. For those who don’t know, I have been divorced about a year and a half now – my ex left just over two years ago. About four years ago, we filed a bankruptcy that was one contributor to the divorce. Not the only factor by a long, long shot, but still a piece of the equation. One of the rules around a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that I have to get approval before I can take on any new debt as long as I am still in the process (ends this summer). So I had a fender bender, decided to get a new(er) car rather than put a couple of grand into fixing the old one which I was planning on getting rid of after I was done with the bankruptcy. A few months tops.
So here I am at a local cigar lounge recently having a smoke and watching TV. Another man is there with me. Just us two. I’ve seen him around a few times – usually watching football games while having a smoke. We’ve talked a couple of times, just shooting the shit. Mostly sports talk. Neat man – played Division One football. About my age. Seemed like a decent enough guy.
Anyways, for whatever reason, I mentioned the new car and the bankruptcy and the divorce. And he starts talking about the collapse of his marriage. And what has been going on. And is going on. And he just seems to unload his soul. Right there in the lounge. Not out of control emoting – just one of those “I’ve had no one who I told this to” ways. I mean, I almost started crying it was so real and intimate of him. Eventually other people came in the room, and he and I made plans for him to come to one of my team meetings (Of course I invited him). And that got me to thinking.
You know, I have spoken with him several times. Smoked a cigar. Watched a couple of games. And I had no clue about any of what was going on for him. Nor him for my journey. I had a serendipitous bit of timing in my comments.
But who else in my world is right there in front of me? Who else is just waiting for someone he feels safe enough with to finally be able to talk? Who else has no idea of who I am and what I have for him? And I invite you to look too.
Who else is hidden in plain sight?