You know how your mother always said "Don't talk to strangers"?
Well, strangers talk to me. They do it all the time
Lost children, lost adults, little old ladies, nutters on the bus, each and every person selling their own particular brand of salvation.
They always talk to me.
A happy-faced woman will stop me in the street and say, "I just had to tell someone, my son took his first step today."
A young man will sit beside me on a bench and tell me the story of how he moved to town to be with his girlfriend, and how she dumped him, hours after he arrived.
In the airport, someone with tear-stained cheeks will turn to me and ask, "Isn't saying 'goodbye' the worst thing in the world?"
And wherever I go, and I do mean wherever, even if I'm toting a backpack and dragging a suitcase, I will be asked for directions.
It isn't a new thing, it's been happening ever since I was ten or eleven. At first I thought it happened to everyone. It doesn't.
I've never understood what it is about me. I'm not particularly tall or short, and I'm certainly not particularly good-looking. These days, I'm fat, but it's not that, because I wasn't always. There is nothing about me to make me stand out in a crowd.
My husband claims it's a look in my eyes that says I won't turn away. A friend says it's a quality in the way I hold myself. Another says that I give out a sense of being 'grounded' and at home wherever I am. They all seemed reasonable explanations.
But it happens online too
I doubt if I will ever understand it, but as I've grown older, I've stopped seeing it as a pain and I have realised that I'm almost uniquely privileged.
People want to share their lives with me.
That makes me feel so good.