The guy at the checkout was putting my cereal into the bag when he leaned in and said, quietly, “Wil?”
His eyes widened, like he’d said a swear. He stopped short. “May I call you Wil?” I think maybe his voice trembled a little bit.
“Of course you may,” I said. I did my best to reassure him, put him at ease.
In the pre-mask times, I would have seen his smile. Today, I saw hie eyes crinkle up. “I. Love. Wesley Crusher.” He declared.
“Thank you!” I waved my phone over the thing to pay. Living in the future can be cool from time to time. “I love him too!” The thing made a noise indicating that payment had been accepted.
“I mean, he is my very favorite,” he said. I could tell this was important to him.
“That means so much to me,” I said. “Thank you. He’s my favorite, too.” I leaned in like he’d leaned in toward me. “Don’t tell Picard,” I stage whispered.
He smiled with his eyes again. I smiled back with my own.
“I’m so sad they’re taking all seven seasons off of Netflix,” he said.
“Me too. They’re on Paramount+ now, though.”
His posture changed, and I knew he was about to share something with me that he thought was cool.
“I have all seven seasons on DVD. I bought them in 2001. I can watch The Next Generation whenever I want to.”
“That’s awesome,” I said. “I love that you still have them. Thank you for watching our show!” I grabbed my cart.
“Have a great weekend, Mist — Wil,” he said.
“You too. Live long and prosper!”
So many things in my life are gifts, when I remember to be open to receiving them.