We Made Contact.
The Starbucks on the ground floor of the hotel was a busy one, with conference attendees, hotel guests, and Philadelphians streaming in from the city street, all clamoring for their cup of coffee.
My friends and I stood in line to order, then shuffled over to the "holding area," where we waited for our over-priced coffee to be doled out. Some people sat in the window seat, some stood and tapped their feet impatiently. I leaned against the high bar behind me, watching the baristas whirl and spin around each other like socks in the dryer.
That day, I was wearing pants and had my pump clipped to my pocket. Because I was in a hurry to get back up to the conference, I had run to the bathroom first, and then trotted over to Starbucks. So my pump tubing, though usually tucked away, was flopping outside of my pocket and dangling towards my knee.
And this lady kept looking at it. She was sitting on the window seat, so my hip was right in her line of vision. And she just kept looking.
I caught her eye. "Hi." And smiled.
"Hi." It was like she couldn't help herself - her eyes darted back down to my tubing. She smiled apologetically.
"It's an insulin pump?" I said, like it was a question I was asking her.
"An insulin pump. For diabetes?"
"Oh! I didn't mean to stare. I just thought it was your cell phone, but then I saw that tube hanging out. For diabetes?"
"Yes. Instead of taking injections of insulin, I use the pump to administer it throughout the day." We both looked at the tubing. "I like it."
"My daughters - they're your age - keep telling me to get an iPhone. 'Get an iPhone, Mom! You have to!' But I don't want one. I don't want that much technology. I just want my phone to make phone calls, you know?" She gestured towards my pump. "But if I had diabetes, that's the kind of technology I'd want. I'd want that."
I smiled. Her coffee came up on the bar, and mine quickly followed.
She paused a second. "Most people in the city don't make eye contact."
"That's kind of sad. But look at us! We've made both eye contact and pump contact!"
"Eye contact and pump contact. This has been a unique morning!" She grabbed a few napkins for herself and, out of habit, I think, handed me one for my coffee. "Have a good day, sweetie, and take care of yourself."
I never caught her name. She never asked for mine. But we made contact.