"Coincidence is the word we use when we can't see the levers and pulleys."--Emma Bull
I noticed two women and a girl of about 8 years old in front of me. The little one was loud and energetic and the two ladies looked more like her wranglers than the mother and aunt I assumed they were. I was about twenty feet away and changed my music to the last album by the Beastie Boys. I slowed my pace to maintain my distance from the trio, but the little girl noticed me right away. She stopped, looked at me intently and waved. I smiled and waved back and her wranglers ordered her to follow. She did.
They took a side street, well more like the wranglers chased after the little girl because she bolted. I passed them and searched the grounds for a lone dandelion I had noticed on the walk up. After half of a song, I heard the little girl behind me. Then I suddenly saw my dandelion. I crouched on the grass and positioned my phone, trying to capture the lone dandelion and the waning sunlight together. I could hear the trio approach and I’m sure I looked strange to them, fiddling with my phone and snapping pictures of a silly weed. The little girl, curiosity in her eyes, stopped and stared at me. She smiled and waved again. I did too and took longer with my phone, snapping a few more pictures. Plus, I wanted the trio to gain some distance. I like being solo.
I resumed my downhill strut, finally appreciating the last LP MCA dropped before his death, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2. I had it for months, but could never listen to it with my children around because of the vulgarity.
The little girl slowed her paced too, I noticed. Her wranglers didn’t appreciate this and kept beckoning her to follow. She rested her fists on her hips and loudly said, “No!” Then, she turned to me, waiting. She waved three times at me before I finally reached her. Her bright eyes were an astonishingly light azure. Her hair was a pale gold. The skin around her mouth was parched, then she broke into a smile that commanded my full attention.
“Hello!” She said loudly. Her wranglers watched a few feet away.
I pulled one ear bud out to speak with this girl. “Hi.” I smiled.
The younger wrangler approached. I was a stranger after all. I would have done the same, but my children would not have defied me to speak with a total stranger. It seemed that the little rebel with the bright eyes, pale like shallow ocean water may have a developmental issue. It was refreshing that she was so open and very bold as her next flow of questions bombarded me.
“What? What are you doing?” She asked. Her wrangler stood near.
“I’m exercising.” I said.
“Why?” And the little rebel gestured to the gadgets in my hand, my phone and iPod.
I placed my hand over my heart. “It’s good for me, good for my heart.”
“Oh. What’s your name?” She pushed. Then, the younger wrangler had had enough. She pulled on rebel dandelion’s arm.
“Let’s go!” Her accent thick, Russian and lovely. She smiled at me apologetically, but rebel dandelion would not leave.
“My name is Tanya.” I said. Then the wrangler stopped, her blue eyes bright this time.
“Really? That is her name too!”
“Wow.” I said. Then, I spelled my name to see if that was the same too. “Mine is T-A-N-Y-A.”
“Yes! She too is the same.” Wrangler’s shoulders relaxed and my namesake smiled widely, dancing in spot.
After a beat, both wranglers were there to usher the rebel dandelion away. When she stayed planted, they spoke quickly in Russian (I assume, as I’m not an expert in European languages), with the name “Tanya” peppered throughout their pleas.
Finally, she gave me one last smile and stomped off.
"Later, Rebel Dandelion." I thought.