That question has bedeviled me, off and on, for about a year. That’s how long it’s been since I first encountered Kirklan at a traffic light in front of the hospital on my daily commute to work.
I immediately noticed the black Nissan Maxima SE’s vanity plate bearing that name. It was surrounded by a University of Florida Gators frame. So, we are both UF alumni. (I received my M.A. from UF.) But because of tinted windows, I had no idea about Kirklan’s sex, age, race, etc. At the time, it didn’t bother me… I did not expect to encounter Kirlan again.
But since then, I’ve encountered Kirklan 2-3 times a month. At first, it was at that traffic light in front of the hospital. Since I was in back of him, I suspect he soon began to “recognize” me because I have an unusual object hanging from my rear view mirror: a miniature ceremonial “headdress” worn by the Hawaiian priests during blessing rituals before battle. Hawaiians display these smaller versions in their vehicles for good luck.
One day, I noticed Kirklan about a half mile past the hospital. But I shortly turned left to take a route with less traffic and fewer lights. I noticed that Kirklan continued on about 200 yards towards the Parkway, a major six-lane street. Most folks turn left onto the Parkway, but from there they could end up anywhere.
One day, while I was in front of a red light waiting to cross the Parkway and continue along a street where many state agencies are located and which continues two to three miles to an office complex with even more state agencies, I noticed a black vehicle turn right from the Parkway and head in the direction I take. I noticed the license plate: Kirklan!
This made the probability of Kirklan being a state employee very high. But since I was stuck at the red light, I could not be sure.
And if he was a state employee, where did he work? At one of the agencies about a half-mile from the light or at the larger office complex a few miles further, where I work? By the time the light turned green and I drove on in search of the black Nissan Maxima SE with a Florida Gators license frame, Kirklan had disappeared.
A few months ago, I came upon Kirklan at a red light on Capital Circle, where I turn right to join a long procession of vehicles heading to the large state office complex about a mile down the Circle. This meant Kirklan almost certainly works at the same complex as I do.
I stayed behind Kirklan until he made a left at the first entrance to the complex. While there are some private sector offices down that street, the overwhelming majority of folks are heading to the parking lots of the state agencies. I continued on to the second entrance because my office is just inside that entrance.
Interestingly, I have never seen Kirklan on the commute home. Probably because I leave at 4:45 to take advantage of a “traffic window” between the 4:30 and 5:00 o’clock rushes.
Last week, I encountered Kirklan twice: once on Tuesday and again on Thursday. That really got me pondering: who is Kirklan?