Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Encounters with men
1) I was witnessed to (at?) on the Halsted train platform yesterday. I stood leaning against a pillar, reading The Civil War and minding my own business, when a very tall, tanned, respectable looking young man loomed in on my left. He politely said he had noticed me reading a book and wondered if he could share something with me. Alarm bells went off but I didn't want to be rude so I said okay, and he opened his little black bible and read a verse to me. (I just hunted for it; it was Ecclesiastes 12:12: And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.) I knew where that line of reasoning was headed but he didn't take it there. He just wanted to quote-mine that verse and apply it to the modern world and its endless barrage of websites and books offering conflicting advice to a bewildered people, which I couldn't argue with. Then his train arrived and he thanked me kindly for letting him share his thoughts with me, told me he was a witness for Jehovah (big surprise!!), and went away.
2) As I walked by the old post office this morning, a man in a parked car said something that sounded like "God damn. Nice breast." The last word was very clearly enunciated and was most definitely not plural. I ignored him but felt vaguely offended on behalf of the slighted breast, whichever one it was.
Despite the general weirdness, it's good to be home. I'm reminded of the Far Side with the bears on vacation, standing on a busy city sidewalk and commenting on how they can really feel themselves unwind. It's all in what you're used to. I can't wait until my road trips are done and I can stay home for good.