Published In The Great North Arrow, July 2022: See You In 10 Years

- jim Young

“Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, 
Only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; 
So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, 
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.” 
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It’s always nice to renew old friendships at something like a High School or Family Reunion. There’s just something fun about “catching up” with others that you haven’t seen for a long time.

It doesn’t even have to be a close friend. Maybe you run into a coworker that you only knew briefly from that job you first took when you were fresh out of school. A quick exchange of “Hi, how are you? What’s the old place like? Is so-and-so still working there?” are quickly exchanged before you each turn about and go your separate ways.

Perhaps it’s our subconscious mind at work dealing with our own mortality. Who doesn’t want to be remembered?

As we were leaving Cuba on our last vacation we sat in the VIP room at the airport. I knew I had been in this VIP room twice before but it didn’t look familiar. Of course that had been a long time ago and as I later discovered, the VIP room had been renovated to remove the smoking lounge several years prior.

But there was something familiar in the room that I did recognize - one of the bartenders. I grabbed my tablet and began searching through the years of photos that I have stored, looking for an album titled Cayo Coco and finally stopped at some pictures taken ten years earlier.

There he was. But he wasn’t just a bartender. Clearly, for one short moment in time, we had become friends.


We showed our pictures to our old friend, who rejoiced along with his coworkers marveling at the difference 10 years had made in both us and the decor. We all posed for new photos of course as we reminisced about that day so long ago that without the picture, would have long been forgotten.


Then, just as fast as the moment had come, it was gone.

As we were leaving to board our plane, the bartender came up to bid us farewell and as he shook my hand he said, “You know, I am so happy when I see nice people like you again. In my job I meet so many people and then I never see them again. I often wonder what happens to them and if perhaps they have died from Covid.” 

I winked at him, giving his hand a little squeeze and said, “See you in 10 years.”

He smiled and replied, “Make that 10 weeks.”

We both knew that it is unlikely we will ever see each other again, but we will both remember.

- 30 -


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