I was trying to sweet talk an Indian ferry-wallah into letting me onto his oversold boat the first time I laid eyes on Lorraine. She and an Irish girl named Evelyn sashayed up with a bag full of samosas and trumped Will and me utterly.
Will and I had both eeked out every moment of leave we could manage from our jobs (about three weeks, as it turned out) and set off on the least practical honeymoon ever. It took us about four days of planes and transfers to move from the blizzard-bound winter of Colorado through a bitingly wet day in London into the dim and humid tungsten-lit wee hours of Calcutta. And now finally, we were on a speck of archipelago one ferry ride away from our destination only to be stymied by the only Indian public employee I had ever encountered who was impervious to baksheesh.
And that is how Will and I found ourselves stuck in port with Lorraine and Evelyn and some rich German who, in an effort to vie for their attentions, bought us all dinner and too many drinks. It was a good start. The next day we managed to get on the boat and get to our final stop where we discovered we were all staying at the same guest house. I fell in love with several of the travelers I met during the next two weeks of tropical indolence, but none more than Lorraine.
I have traveled enough to know that the little tribe assembled on that island was not a foregone conclusion. It was a rare and magical convergence and I was lucky to take part in it. I'm also lucky that Lorraine still has a gypsy soul, even as she and her girlfriend settle down in Scotland. That is how they landed on my Colorado doorstep last week and burrowed their way even further into my heart.
It's also how I know, even when the routine of daily life obscures the proof, that magic still exists.