Thinking of our brief, chance encounters allowed me to drift back in time and luxuriate in the memories and feelings specific to those life eras. Remembering back, it’s almost like meeting up with a childhood friend, someone I once knew so intimately, but has changed over time so that I hardly recognize her now.
I miss many things about the “me” that met Lauren Bacall. – mostly the “Holly Golightly” attitude, about 23 years old with hardly a care in the world, thanks to my jetsetting boyfriend at the time. We took a weekend trip to San Francisco for my birthday, staying at the Huntington Hotel and shopping at Wilkes Bashford. While showing me the sites from our limo, we decided to stop in Chinatown and look around.
It was about 3:00 in the afternoon and we were both ready for a light bite and a drink. We were met with a “sorry, we’re closed, private party” from the maître d’, which quickly turned into a challenge for my beau to get us in and get his way. After a few whispers between the two and the notorious golden handshake, we were treated like royalty as we were led into the massive dining room – occupied by only two people, another couple seated a few booths away from us.
Feeling the delightful buzz of our vodka tonics, we cozied up to each other in the red leather booth - kissing, laughing, playing like the young, carefree lovers we were. And so were the other couple. Suddenly, my playmate’s tone became very serious. “Don’t turn around. I want you to listen to the woman’s voice next to us and tell me who it is. ”It took me about two seconds to identify that lusty, smoky voice. “No way, it’s Lauren Bacall”, I said. But I had to turn around. We exchanged “hello’s” and knowing smiles, and left it as perfectly as it was.
When I met Robin Williams, my life was in a very different place. Very pregnant and with one in the stroller, I climbed up and down the hills of Sausalito to make my way to the park near the library. Across the street was a great sandwich shop. It was just Robin, the sandwich-maker, me and little Andrew in his stroller. “What brings you to Sausalito?” I asked him. I was stunned by how very shy, uncomfortable, and sad he seemed to be. “The great sandwiches, of course”, he mustered.
We chit-chatted a bit and with each word he said, I could feel his pain. I knew how he was feeling, uncomfortable in his own skin. I was in a lonely, pseudo marriage at the time and feeling lost as to what to do. It makes me sad just remembering our brief connection and the parallels of that time.
But good times or bad, it’s healthy for the soul to take time once in awhile to reflect on the past, remember the feelings you used to feel, and say “hello” to the you that you used to be. And from that, we understand ourselves a little better and never forget how we became who we are.