I Met Malcolm Gladwell

by bxrtley

Met Malcolm Gladwell tonight. Twice. Once behind the signing table. And twice at a curb intersection after getting food from Vanessa’s Dumplings.

I wasn’t impatient at Vanessa’s. And I’m glad they took long to make my food. I’m also glad I walked where I did to take the 4 train. I’m glad I met Gladwell one last time.

And I had nothing to say besides sharing that my dad was a ‘yardie’ just like his mother. As gifted as I might be at asking good questions, clearly I’m not immune to being speechless when meeting a public figure I admire.

Maybe I should’ve walked with him for a little bit and actually talked to him? After all, he rolled up next to me! Or maybe he had a long day and wanted his space. And it was as if no one else knew him or recognized he was on the block. Those 30 seconds felt intimate.

Funny thing is, I was trying to figure out what he had written in my book (I ask authors whose work has changed my life to write one encouraging word that sums up their life or career up to the very point of opening my book). And there he was! He the interpreted for what his golden hieroglyphic message said:

Change your mind once a day!

I mentioned to him I had only asked for one way and that he gave me about 5. So, Mr. Gladwell, I’ll just take the first word: Change.

What are the odds of that? Everything aligned perfectly for that moment and I didn’t even follow up with a comeback one-two conversational punch. Or something for him to chew on.

But maybe I got what I supposed to get from him. Or maybe it was me who gave something away.

If I could do it all over again, I’d ask him if we could have lunch one day. So, Mr. G, if you’re reading this…How about it?

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