March 4th, 2015 1:40 PM

Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA

Wait was that her in the corner of my eye?

Yeah it was Maria.

Hey Maria!

We exchanged greetings.

Next to us was Blue Bottle Coffee, one of the best local coffee chains in the city. I quickly ordered a hot coffee to get myself ready for awesome conversation. I kindly offered her a coffee as well but she politely declined.

We continued to discuss her astonishment about San Francisco and the joy she found residing in an amazing city for a couple of weeks. Luckily one of her friends was able to stay for a work related visit and she decided to make that her opportunity to come to the city.

It is unbelievable to see her passion about San Francisco because she gives a magical-like vibe about what she saw around the city.

She truly loved Haight-Ashbury. The grittiness and weirdness of that area pulsates through wanderer’s hearts. She was one of them.

It was amazing to hear her stories about being an online tutor that teaches Spanish. I was amazed because it came from someone so passionate about living a life that allows you to see places and travel quite often.

Her ability to teach others is what impressed most because it felt so genuine when she spoke about her desire to teach to others in person again. She liked the whole Skype session type of classes yet missed the real, authentic experience.

As we walked past AT&T park, home of the San Francisco Giants, we stumbled upon a very interesting conversation about culture.

It was about where you draw the line between the concept of independence and finding your own definition of independence. It was something that had been on my mind for a while as well and she clarified so much to me by giving her view about it. A good portion of people in her city didn’t move out until they got married.

She defined independence on her own terms. This allowed her to combine her desire to help people and travel around the world. It was very inspiring to hear about how she was able to combine teaching others another language while living a nomadic dream.

It was amazing to meet Maria because she helped me regain great perspective about so many topics. She revived the novelty and wonder that I had taken for granted by living around the area for so long.

Something as simple as a 90 minute walk around San Francisco with a lovely person transformed into regained astonishment.

Thank you Maria.


If you would like to learn Spanish and were interested in an online tutor, check out her website, Maria Ortega Garcia.


January 2012

San Francisco, CA

She felt and looked like a fairy. Her white hair flowed out into the sky like a wild dandelion. She also helped me out with opening my beer. So she was a beer fairy with this flickering streak of hair.

Little did I know that walking around the Mission district and Dolores Park with her ended up being a weird progression that felt too linear for its own good.

In the end of it all, she stared at me straight in the eyes and said, “You’d be great at chess.”

It’s the point both of us knew that the moment would’ve been perfect. Everything was executed perfectly. Both of us showed interest in one another and then all of a sudden on the final farewell as she was walking into the bus, it all stuttered.

It was too perfect. The moment felt too typical and shallow.

The moment on paper was beautiful. The moment in reality was mediocre.

We stared into each other’s eyes and knew we both played out the concept of attraction.

However, I am pretty sure we both knew as she climbed up the stairs of that bus that we only were playing the part.

I described what happened. I’ll keep it free from a label.


It’s fleeting.

All the interactions I attempted and will continue to attempt will be fleeting.

January 14th, 2012

San Francisco, CA

Everyone below I met only once. The early 2012 version of myself was still too innocent to understand this concept. I needed to live this day out to realize I was an extra in the whole scheme of two different situations. We are all extras in other people’s situations unless we are invited into the inner group.

Alexandra and her cousin met me at one of the diners on Haight St. The conversation was basically about her time in San Francisco. She shared some stories about how she enjoyed it so far. After her cousin shared a bit about himself too. They ordered a dish of french toast.

Something hit me when they offered to share their french toast with me. It felt like it was running out. Something felt like it was running off into the wilderness.

It’s the moment of clarity when I knew today was going to be fleeting.

I barely grabbed a small piece of that french toast and that’s when I knew my efforts were going to end up becoming some indifferent pile of inner art unless I understood the mission. I chewed the french toast in deep thought.

After leaving the diner, the two of them were kind enough to walk around and chat with me about this idea of meeting everyone. One of them said that it may not be worth the trouble to meet so many people because you never really get to know them authentically.

In rebuttal, one interaction is all you need to change the course of a person’s actions through giving them different ideas and perspectives.

I thanked them for meeting up with me.

A few blocks around the corner I entered a cafe where Abagail and her boyfriend were sitting.

I remember guiding them through areas I’ve been before by retracing my paths that I took a couple of years back in the city.

I found a bus for them that would take us to the Sutro Baths. Those ruins have a beautiful landscape that gives you the type of perspective that changes lives.

We slowly climbed up the elevated mountain for a spectacular view.

The vivid oranges, purples, and pinks highlighted the sky with a fantastic glow. The beach gleamed with liveliness.

Abagail came from a different country for her opportunity to be here. She made it work for her. Both of them made it work. She had an artistic personality and her boyfriend was a photographer.

The one thing I remember etched into my brain or at least paraphrased into my brain:

She said something along the lines of, “You have to go for what you like no matter what, you can’t let anything hold you back.”

She was right.

After a few months, I lost contact with everyone. The small victories are knowing that almost everyone is fleeting. I am glad they gave me an opportunity to be a tiny page in their personal novels.

They helped me understand the fleeting concept.

Curiosity Awakens the Kat

Portland, Oregon June 1st


The Pioneer Courthouse was brimming with people sitting down eating lunch, sipping on coffee, or chatting about the glorious weather.

I was looking out in the distance. Just past the Starbucks, I noticed a petite figure waving her hand full of energy.

For some hilarious reason we inadvertently both dressed up in mostly black to contrast the colorful and vivid afternoon.

She politely took off her glasses and quickly glanced at me for the usual first impressions.

We started walking towards the millions of food trucks that Portland has to offer and stopped at one of her favorites, a Mediterranean truck. We both order our gyros and speak about her ride down.

We ended up deciding to seat on a metallic table that had the wind blowing from many different directions trying to wake us up.

After grabbing me another diet cola and getting herself some weird form of mineral water the chat goes into anime. The magic of Nodame Cantabile, an anime with classical music and solid plot progression, was discussed.
Over the course of many years the two main characters slowly developed their relationship through their own genius by playing classical music. The ridiculous amount of character development made that anime stand above the rest.

Art has a certain way of bringing people together to share their stories.

We continued to walk around Portland and she told me about how she is a homebody that stays home the majority of the time.

She is a queasy child, queasy of people, queasy of life.

She spoke to me about her fears. She spoke to me about her best memories. She would lead me to one of those memories.


In a vulnerable state as the sun is setting upon the sky, she brought me to a favorite fountain of hers that she would always go to during her childhood. It was her place to have tranquility.

It was incredibly peaceful.

The fountain had a particular structure around it where you could only really see its beauty from one point of view. The only way to get there was to walk around the back side to see the beautiful frontal view of the gushing water.

I sat there for ten minutes to really appreciate her gesture to show me her personal spot. The sun reflected at an angle where the gushing fountain held a monolithic shadow that shaded me to help me reflect.

It felt like her spirit because underneath the protective shell, she had such a quiet, welcoming demeanor.

She continually wished that I lived in Portland to be able to get to know me more and introduce me to her circle of friends.

I wished the same too.


The train is slowly inched its way towards the station we stood upon. We embraced and said our goodbyes.

Unlike the anime series, time wasn’t on our side. We did our best within four hours to keep the ticking clock at bay and experience a life where we were both around the same city.

We gave each other a chance to awaken the other.

I hope the fleeting interaction gave her an endless vitality to live life with energy.

The Humble Blueberry

May 31 2014 Portland, Oregon

The bright blue sky offers a welcoming entrance to the setting. The sun is also determined to send out vibrant radiance.

It’s a comfortable day to be comfortable and share that comfort with others.

She automatically tells me that I would find more interesting people around than her.

“It’s definitely a city where you’ll find a bunch of interesting characters.”

I quickly tell her that the most interesting people tend to be the ones that don’t overstate it through their attire and appearance.

She smiles amidst a background of green. The green leaves and the green grass listen in intently. Some leaves arrive by traveling with the wind. They come pouring in from all directions to hear the conversation.

She told me a story about the time she went to Spain. One of the days she had no plans. Her group wanted to get lost on purpose. That day ended being her favorite out of the whole trip because it was unpredictable. They found their own magical exploration.

That’s what life is about. If everything is linear all the time then you can’t find fun, random variables that makes life really shine through.

She calmly reaches into her bag to grab her lunch. Her lunch is twenty or so blueberries piled together in a plastic container.

While reaching for a blueberry, she asks me about my writing and what I plan to do with it.

I contemplate for a quick second before stating, “If aliens came around to visit I’d like to share my interactions with people to show the best side of humanity in a little storybook.”

She laughs and nods her head in approval.

(It’s crazy to think that I found out my elevator pitch and sidebar description through answering this fantastic question).

She lets me remember why I enjoy these little microscopic interactions in an indifferent universe. It gives me joy to share a moment with someone I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It’s a tiny, respectful way of finding great reflections within another person’s kind soul.

The blueberry on top of the whole thing is that I’m marveling at how charming it is to have twenty blueberries for lunch. It’s ridiculously simple.

You never know when someone is going to humble you with their grace.