The empty street felt lonely that night. No traffic, no parked cars, and only a few people walking by. The street was blocked off because just the next one over they were filming a new installment of The Fast and the Furious. I met Cora while I was waiting at the intersection. This sweet lady started making random conversation with me, so I asked her to dinner. We sat at a small family-owned pizza place right there on the empty street. Cora lives alone in a low-income housing unit in downtown. She told me she doesn’t really have any friends, and that she was actually coming home from a karaoke bar by herself. Singing and dancing makes her happy. She slowly ate each of her chicken wings and french fries drowned in ketchup as if to savor our time together. We talked about all kinds of things: childhood stories, favorite foods, our travels; everything from what makes us happy to what’s important in life.
As we parted, I told her that she is my new friend, and she smiled and gave me a warm hug. The street didn’t feel so empty to me anymore.