You can’t predict when an interaction is going to make an impression on you.

Tony the Lyft driver made an impression on me today.

“How’s your morning going?”

This is a question I’m not prepared for. How does any morning go? Wake up, then actually wake up, shake off the sleep, and get on with the day.

“Good,” I say. “A little early.”

Tony has water bottles in the back of his car for his guests.

Tony is listening to Ellie Goulding.

Tony has been to Wisconsin.

Tony grew up in Oakland.

I’m shocked at how quickly he finds something in common with me. At how quickly he makes me feel like he understands everything from my perspective.

“I’ve been to Madison. And to Chippewa Falls, to see the Leinenkugel Brewery.” These are names that are familiar to me, words that echo around until in my head they mean “home.”

“People who grew up in California don’t appreciate their climate. I visited New York in the winter one time and I was shocked that people lived that way. Californians don’t realize that people in so many places spend half the year indoors. They see rain and complain that it’s awful. But they don’t know what it’s like to fear the weather.”

I agree with him. But I wonder what a daily passing thought about earthquakes does to a state’s collective psyche.

But still, Tony knows how I feel.

Within three minutes of meeting me, Tony has given me a gift (water), found common ground (a knowledge of locations in Wisconsin and a shared taste in music), and demonstrated that he can see the current situation from my perspective (a Midwesterner in California in the rain).

Tony is a master of the conversational arts.

Tony makes an impression.

Also, Tony thinks my name is Foster because Foster got the Lyft for me.

About Kevin McGillivray

Kevin McGillivray is a web developer, writer, and teacher from Wisconsin. He writes about creativity, mindfulness, code, and tea.

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