I shared a smile with a stranger today.

Admittedly, we were both grinning at each other in relief that he had slammed his brakes on in time and avoided running over a cat. I didn’t want to witness a kitty death, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t want to cause one.

Still, it’s nice when you have a brief connection with someone you’ll never see again (I’m talking emotionally here, not physically. That sort of thing spreads disease).

I was in the middle of my first bout of exercise after Christmas, namely a wellington-booted trudge up an icy hill in order to hand an essay in on time. Imagine what it looks like when the trudger checks her watch and starts trying to run, and you’ll see a panicked English student, mid-cardiac arrest, cursing her piteous time-keeping and organizational skills- not to mention the cold air currently turning her throat and lungs into a blur of frozen pain. Then she spots a beautiful little black and white  cat, slinking along the pavement. This lifts her mood momentarily, until suddenly the cat flies out into the road, into the path of a car. The car brakes at the last moment, and the kitty darts away. Smiles all round.

I needed that smile.


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