No one to talk to

So I’m walking home on a weekday.  I miss the light at Albemarle and Nebraska so I have to wait a little while.  An older gentleman comes up to the same light and starts talking to me.  Not elderly, just older.

“Did you know those houses go for around one point nine million?  That’s ridiculous.”

I nod.  “Yeah.”  The houses are huge, but right on the corner of a pretty busy intersection with lots of traffic.  I wouldn’t turn it down the house if it was given to me, but if I had one point nine million dollars hanging around, it’s not exactly the house of my dreams.

“That’s the problem with this city,” he continues.  “There’s no one I can talk to, it’s people who live in houses like that or welfare mothers.  Nobody like me.”

“Uh, yeah.”  The light still hasn’t changed, and there are a few more cars waiting for the left turn.  Slowly, I’m disliking the direction that this conversation is going, and I decide to ignore the guy.

“And they’re the ones that keep having babies!  The welfare mothers!  You know, I’ve got two almanacs at home.”

The derailment of  his train of thought jars me internally, but I keep watching the traffic light.

“It’s the same problems with all those other countries in the world.  They’re having babies faster than we are.  Especially those Muslims and Asians.  They’re like cockroaches.”

This is the point in the conversation where, for the first time, I look at the man directly.

We make eye contact for the briefest second.

And he stops talking.


4 thoughts on “No one to talk to

  1. Jason says:

    You know, in the beginning of that I was starting to feel sorry for him, then just like that I saw that maybe there was a reason other then his financial location that left him alone. Good story.

  2. Paulo says:

    That was the perfect time to say, very quietly and intensely, “Allah Akbar.”

  3. ludette palero (mom) says:

    keep writing about these things…the pen is definitely mightier than the sword!

  4. ludette palero says:

    good for you. i like the part where you looked him straight in the eye. at that point, silence was the best comment — mom

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