Just as I started drawing a rosebush in a nearby garden this morning, a woman peeked her head into the gate in the stone wall near me and said, enthusiastically, "Hi!"
It seemed as if she mistook me for someone else because she startled when I raised my face from my drawing and said, "Hi" back to her. I thought she'd recover from her start by commenting on the weather, or noticing the flowers I drew, or saying, "Oh, I thought you were someone else."
But instead, the woman jumped when I said hello and then she scurried away.
I didn't think much about the encounter until lunchtime when a friend of mine and I chatted about our mornings. I sort of ran out of things to say and came up with the story of how I startled the woman with my "hi!".
"She said hi and then jumped away when you said hi?" my friend asked. I was surprised at the interest. Usually my stories aren't so good that early in the day.
"Yes, she was friendly one instant and timid the next. I felt bad for giving her a scare," I said.
"What did she look like?"
"She was wearing a jogging suit, about medium build. She was walking a dog."
"What was her hair like?" my friend asked, and I described her hair. Her hair was a bit unusual in my neighborhood.
"That same woman said hi to me, just now!" my friend said. "On my way here, a woman said hi to me in a super friendly way. It took me off-guard because I didn't recognize her, but she seemed to recognize me. She was exactly as you described."
"The same hair?"
"Did she have a dog?" I asked.
"I don't know," my friend said, "she ducked behind a car as soon as I said hello to her."
"She ducked behind a car?"
"I thought I scared her."
"Hmmm," I said.
"Yeah," my friend said, "Hmmm."
No time for color sketches today. Contour drawing in number 2 pencil on bristol board.