Just a Note

A few years ago, I went to a writing conference here in Salt Lake. I don’t actually like conferences because they are always full of strangers and I’m awkward and anxious and I am terrible at small talk. But there was a girl there with a beautiful shy smile. I immediately recognized Samantha as a member of my anxiety ridden tribe and without saying anything she made me feel at ease.

The conference was three days, but we didn’t talk much. As much as I liked her I was a bit intimidated. Ten years my junior, and she was a published author!

I was leaving the conference on the last day and had just reached the front door of the building when she caught up to me. She gave me a copy of her book and wouldn’t hear of it when I tried to pay her for it. We exchanged goodbyes and well wishes. I’ve seen her a few times since at other conferences.

Today, I heard that Sam was killed in a car accident yesterday.

There’s no lesson. I’m not wishing we were different more outgoing people. We were our true selves and we connected in our quiet “small talk” free way. She was kind and gifted and I’m so sorry she is gone.

Hug your people close. Share your gratitude for the small gestures. Be kind when you can. It all matters.

About Rachel Lewis

I am a writer, ceramic artist, knitter, and new stepparent. As a playwright, I had six short plays produced in showcases and festivals in Manhattan, Salt Lake City, and Austin. My full-length play, Locking Doors, was presented by Wordsmith Theatre Company in The New Lab Theatre (University of Utah) in 2005. I co-wrote a teleplay titled “Thank God I’m Atheist” which won the 2015 “No God But Funny” contest founded by the Center for Inquiry. My short nonfiction essay, “It’s Coming Down,” was published by the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. I currently work in pharmaceuticals professionally and write recreationally, but dream of making the transition to write professionally and do pharmaceuticals recreationally. I am a Utah native and live in Salt Lake City with my Yorkshire terrier, Wensleydale Doggiepants. I am working on a collection of humorous non-fiction essays and a second full-length play. Follow me at: rachelclewis.com @rachel_lewis_ut (Twitter) @rachel_lewis_ut (Instagram)

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