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 nodded.

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.

I waved.

He waved back.


choices, compliance, curiosity, expectations, habits,. ideas, space dust


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