Cliff called me Cliff

‘Are you Cliff?’

Startled, my phone stumbled beneath my thumbs. The voice burst from my blindside.

I forgot that I had changed my usual pick up spot. A delivery could come from any direction.

In the jolt, a text got sent mid stride. Someone at home thinks that ‘I will b ho_’

His name tag said Hi my name is Cliff.

In moments like this, it’s hard to think of the universe as anything other than a poetic post-it note tucked into my daily lunch bag.

A mirror full of reminders, metaphor, simile, assonance, alliteration and definitely a dash of cheeky humour.

What is it called when a moment, threads across time and space, echoes over and over, so much so
that it simply and quietly shifts from coincidence to pattern to recurrence?

Nope, not my name.
Did he just introduce himself or address me?

But those are my groceries. So I stay quiet then get lost in my own fractional back story.

For years now, new acquaintances, at some point call me Cliff. Other prodigal peeps only know me as Cliff. Some I have corrected, others I have let slide for so long that I figure- Why bother?

It’s not my name by birth, but I gotta admit it appears often enough that I gotta vibe with the fact that some higher power beholds me in this way.

Cliff Cluff.

All of this wonderment crowded out my immediate task. I should be watching the dude unload my groceries.

I must have nodded when he asked my name because when I return to my senses he is closing the hatch on my car. Nice touch, I think to myself.

15 minutes later, I’m chilling on the couch, my kids are unpacking the haul.

5 minutes more, one of my kids is asking why half of our order is missing.

5 minutes after that I get a call from Walmart. They are apologizing for the error. It was Cliff’s first day. I smile and think about his and my connection.

The manager asks if I would like the missing items to be delivered.

‘Nah’ I say because I have already requested a refund on the app. ‘Thanks though’.