I’m sitting with a man I just met.
He’s overweight, but not unattractively so. He’s smoking Marlboro Reds. Says he gave em up for the fortieth time; started back up today, a day he calls grey.
He went to church Sunday; says he sang with angels. Healed a woman with chronic arthritis. Says it without pride, just matter-of-fact.
He enjoys the quiet irony of the Batman t-shirt he’s wearing. “Never take life too damned seriously,” he counsels.
“Are you suggesting—?”
“Ain’t suggesting nothin’, son. Just observin’.”
“Observing.” I let the word echo in the still spring air, moist from the morning’s rain.
“Yup. Just observing.”
I decide to move to another topic. “What brings you to Delaware?”
“Seemed as good a place as any to stop. I caught a ride with a couple takin’ the scenic route to North Carolina. Decided I didn’t want to hear any more of their subtle bickering.”
“Yeah. You know. It’s the looks I noticed first. Suzy put three sugars in his coffee and I think he only wanted two. He watched her put in the third packet, then there’s this little shake of his head. I been riding with em since Boston. Had enough.”
“You have plans to stay?”
“I don’t never make plans, son. Not beyond a couple days out anyway.”
I wonder why he calls me son. It’s clear he’s no older than I am, or if he is, it’s no more than a couple years. I decide not to be offended. “What sort of work do you do?”
“A little of this, a little of... Read More »