In the moment I first saw you,
I could swear that we had met,
The look in your eye was so familiar,
Where and when, I forget.
"Sweet Reunion" by Kenny Loggins
It was open mic night and me and my girl Kristin decided to perform a couple of songs each, just to have something to do. She would do a couple of originals but I decided to sing "Talk To Me" by Jim Messina and "In My Life" by Lennon and McCartney. There were quite a few people there musicians and guests alike so I was a little nervous. I hadn't gone to an open mic in a while and frankly, I was just going this time because Kristin had insisted. She loved playing open mics.
Her style is more folksy and pop where as mine is jazzy and r&b. It's a wonder how we're both such close friends since we're both so different. She and I are in our late 50's but we'd only known each other for about 5 years. Here in Campbell, CA the cost of living is so high that we decided to share an apartment together. We had met at the homeless ministry where we both sang and played for the church services either together or separately. We played with a lot of different musicians at that church, it was such a worthwhile cause.
On this particular night she went first. The applause was very positive so it helped to calm my nerves a little. I got up to play my 2 song set after her and it went pretty smoothly. I always calm down after the first chord is struck on my classical acoustic guitar. When I got off the stage and sat down, I felt a hand on my back oh so softly. I turned around and there was a nice looking man standing over me smiling in a familiar kind of smile. He was probably in his late 50's as well but he was very slim and trim. Most men you meet at this age are a little plump.
"You were so good, I wanted to get up there and play with you. But your set was too short."
"Thank you so much."
"My name's Scottie and I'm a drummer. I'd like to play with you sometime if you're free."
He was a drummer, that explained why he was in such good shape. He handed me his card and walked away quickly. I didn't even get a chance to give him my name, though I'm sure he'd heard it when I was announced. I'd felt a tingle in my stomach when he'd stood next to me. Then when he walked away, it eased down a little, it was so odd. As I watched him go to the back of the club and sit at a table with a couple of other gentlemen, I turned to Kristin who knew most of the musicians around Campbell, and asked her who he was. She said she didn't know him.
He got up to play a few times and he was right, he was a jazz drummer, and one of the best I'd seen in a long time. A lot of the other musicians knew him and through out the night, requested that he sit in with them. He recieved a lot of high fives and pats on the back, and after one of his sets, I did the same to him that he'd done to me. I snuck up behind him, softly placed my hand on his back, and told him he was terrific. I gave him my card than returned to my table. I looked back at him and he gave me another one of his sweet smiles.
The next week I recieved a text message.
"Hi there. This is Scottie. Remember me from the open mic last week? The Drummer."
I sent back, "I remember. How are you?"
I'm very well, thank you. I was wondering... I have a gig tonight, downtown San Jose, are you free to join me and my trio? Maybe sit in for a couple of songs?"
That's the thing about musicians, we're always doing something and we're usually invited out with no notice, so I was use to that.
"I'd love to show up. Where?"
"A place called The Poor House Bistro and we start at 9."
"I'll be there."
And that was that, short and sweet. I got ready, changed the strings on my guitar, walked to the light rail because I didn't want to drive and took the train to the pub which was only a half a block away from the station. I don't know what it was, but there was somthing about Scottie that I couldn't put my finger on. The way he approached me that night with such a light touch on my back sending a shiver up my spine. It was like I was drawn to him, but he was a perfect stranger. I couldn't quite understand it, but I did make sure to tell Kristin where I was going, just in case. I wasn't at all afraid though, he felt familiar somehow but I'd never met him before. It was uncanny.
The Poor House Bistro is inside an actual house with a small open tent-like structure right next to it where a driveway usually is, and this is where the bar and stage are located. At the front is a staircase leading up to the restaurant side where you place your order. You can either sit inside the restaurant, or on the front porch where tables are set up to eat, or you can go back down the stairs and over to the bar side to eat and listen to live entertainment. When I walked up, I heard the band playing but I decided to go inside first to order my dinner, I was hungry.
Their system is cool. You order your food, then they give you a small light to carry with you and when your plate is ready, they flash you with the light and you go back inside to pay and collect your food. I decided to wait for my food there on the front porch where I could look down the side of the house to see the band. Scottie saw me there and gave me that familiar smile while he jammed out with a bass player and a vocalist guitarist playing the electric guitar. It was an old Jazz standard and I could tell the group was very familiar with each other.
The song was almost done when I got the flash. I went inside, scored my food then went back out to sit at the same table which was located right at the top of the stairs on the porch. I sat down to eat noticing that the set was over. I watched as Scottie stood up from the drum set, placed his sticks in his back pocket and started walking toward me, all the while keeping his eyes dead on my face. As he approached something very mystifying started happening. The closer he got to me, the more the rest of the world just faded away.
He jumped off the stage, walked the short walk across the floor to the stairs, started ascending the stairs very slowly and with each step, he became even more distinguishable and everything else clouded away. Even sounds seemed to fade as he came closer. I noticed a bright blue crystal hanging around his neck and it struck me as being very powerful. I seemed to know it even though I knew nothing about crystals.
Finally he was there. He sat down in the seat across from me and just kept smiling that beautiful smile. I was mesmerized. I literally couldn't move an inch. When he sat down, he placed both hands flat on the table in front of him, and like a robot, I did the same next to my plate. It was like I was hypnotized or something. Then our eyes locked.
"Your here." he said.
"Yes, you knew I was coming."
"I know, but I can't believe you're here."
"What do you mean."
"We know each other you know."
"We know each other? But we just met last week."
"I know, but I recognize you. We've known each other before."
Then all of a sudden, I realized what he was saying, I felt it too. I knew him, but how?
"Do you still like the smell of Jasmine?" he said.
"It's my favorite."
"I don't know how, but I know you. Isn't it crazy? Little things about you pop in my head like; you like to walk a lot, and you're a gardener, and you want to live by the sea."
"And you're a runner," I replied, "and you love cats but not dogs, and of course you love music like me. Am I right?"
"Then you remember me too."
"I do in a way, but I don't know how."
"All I can think of is that we've been together before."
"Are you talking about reincarnation?"
"I don't know if I believe in reincarnation or not. But I do believe in other dimensions and that there's so much more to life than what we see here and now,"
We talked for a few more minutes while I ate, then it was time for him to go back on stage. We watched each other all through the next set, me on the porch and him on stage. Eventually I finished my fish and chips and went up to sing and play a couple of jazz songs during his last set. And at the end of the night, he walked me back to the station and we said our good nights with a kiss.
We had found each other again. It was a new beginning, and it was devine. We had no answers as to the questions of knowing about each other before meeting at the open mic that night, but we decided to just leave it be and enjoy our new found relationship. The universe is a fantastic and mysterious place isn't it?
Allison C Whitfield, author of "The Shelter of the Shade Tree", is a Freelance writer who creates articles describing the unconventional for those who wish to explore new ideas and new challenges. She has had 30 + years of experience in Office Administration and Customer Service. She is also a [...]