Talking with Strangers

Yesterday, I was on the phone at work, talking with a woman I had never met who was helping me unravel a work question.

She paused suddenly and mentioned that she could hear the governor’s Tuesday press conference on the radio in my office. She told me she worked in the governor’s building and had been told to bring home work. Vermont’s capital — Montpelier — like so many places in our country now, is under careful public safety scrutiny.

Then, as I’ve found happening so often since last mid-March, a stranger and I had a passionate conversation about the uncertain state of our world. While a moment before we had been talking about details, we suddenly began sharing stories of our families.

Then her cell phone crackled, and we ended our conversation before her connection broke.

Green Mountains Review Online published the first chapter of my book Unstitched: Exploring Addiction in a Small Town. The book will be published by Steerforth Press in September. May our world be a less tension-choked place by autumn.