Everybody has regrets. And they’re all the same. Things we wish we’d done, things we wish we’d said, opportunities we ran from, offspring we yelled at a little too long, too much alcohol making us think we should fly to NYC to see a boy....
But when I think regrets, the one that always floats to the top is this:
South Haven, Michigan. Downtown. Late spring weekday. Quiet sidewalk shopping. A little indie bookstore. Love those. Must go in. A man, about 80 - maybe a little older - at a tiny postage stamp of a card table set up on the sidewalk right by the door. Arranging his pens and his papers. And the stacks of his book.
He stopped fumbling. Looked up at me. Hope. Anticipation. I smiled. He smiled. I froze in unnecessary fear and walked right by him into the store. Then, we danced the same dance as I left.
Why didn’t I ask? One little question. Did you write a book? Followed by a much easier What’s it about? And thumbing through while he told me his story. And buying. And asking him to sign it.
Regrets? I’ve had a few. But I will always be especially sorry that I didn’t talk to this man.