12 men have walked on the moon. 12. Taking into account the number of people in the history of mankind, that’s less than 1 in a billion people. Try to wrap your brain around that number. As my girlfriend and I were making our way to dinner last week –– a dinner with one of those 12 men, the math occurred to me: ”1 in a billion people have walked on the moon, and we’re going to dinner with one of them.” I thought. I was beyond awe-inspired and beyond excited.
We ate at famous Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills, the kind with pictures of movie stars from the ‘30s and ‘40s hanging in a single row along the walls like a single strand of soft lights, illuminating the room with an interminable, yet melancholic brilliance. The restaurant was a throwback, but its history made it timeless. How apropos that we sat there under those stars at dinner with a man that was equally as timeless for having traveled the stars to at least the moon and back.
And did he have a few stories for us. It was truly a night to remember, and one that I will never forget. But days later, as the math hit me, as I wondered inside about the odds of being given the opportunity to have dinner with a 1 in a billion, a thought crossed my mind…this man was one of 12 that walked the moon, yes. But, his wife, my friend and mentor, was equally 1 in billion, for she is as important to me as anybody I know on this planet. Further, my girlfriend is also 1 in a billion, because she stands out in a number of ways against anybody I have ever known, ever.
The beauty of that night will remain with me for a lifetime. I had dinner with three different one in a billion people at a table with only 3 other people. Am I the luckiest guy alive or what? Well, then again, I’ll bet each of you have dinner with a one-in-a-billion person all the time. Makes you believe you can reach out and touch the stars, doesn’t it?
With that in mind, here are a few movie quotes on the topic:
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Walter Matthau as Albert Einstein
“Now what are the odds of that happening?” Tim Robbins in I.Q.
“Space is boundless. It squashes a man’s ego.” Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes
“Numbers are as close as we get to the handwriting of God.” Burn Gorman in Pacific Rim