I had just finished my business in the men’s room at Wal-Mart and was headed back out to the lobby. On my way I saw a man heading straight for me. His focus was on that tiny six-inch space between me and the wall to my right. I knew what he was up to so I stopped just as he was a foot from me.
“Excuse me” he said.
I stood my ground.
“Does everyone jump out of your way when you head straight on a collision course with them?”
“Pretty much”, said he.
“I’m seventy-five and you are thirty-five; I’m not jumping out of the way. Really now, are you kidding me? Does everyone jump for you? I know you said yes but really; is that true?”
He was looking at that tiny space again. He made a sudden move as though he intended to slide his fat self through that small opening between me and the wall but stopped when my arm went up.
“Go around”, I said and he did.
I was still thinking about that as I walked across the busy parking lot toward my truck. As I did so I heard a furtive voice in the dark.
“Hey Mister, ya got some change?”
Another thirty-five year old man. H e was dressed much better than the super collider of a few minutes ago.
I said “Yeah, I’ve got lots a change. How ’bout yourself? How much you got in your pockets?”
“I don’t know; not much.”
“How about this” I began. “We’ll take all the change out of our pockets and whoever has the least keeps it all?”
He looked at me kinda goofy-like.
“And when we’re done we’ll match wallets. If your lucky you’ll be able to go back into Wal-Mart and get a new jacket to go with those new jeans ya just bought while ago?”
He turned around and walked over to the next person.
“Pardon me ma’am…”
As I left the parking lot in my 1994 pickemup truck I saw the coin collector getting into his shiny new GMC something or other that was at least eight feet high at the top of the cab.
He waved back.
choices, compliance, curiosity, expectations, habits,. ideas, space dust