I was watching the kids’ annual outdoor costume parade in the town center. A stranger, an older, grey-haired man, approached me and stood by my side.
HIM (pleasantly): “What’s happening here?”
ME (pleasantly): “It’s the children’s Halloween costume parade.”
HIM (very sarcastically): “I’d have never guessed.”
ME (half-joking, half-not): “Then why did you ask?!”
A briefest of moments passed.
HIM (pointing out a costumed pet): “There’s Wonder Dog.”
Man goes away.
I liked talking to him when I ran into him but, although I’d never met his wife, I knew he was married. He told me he was looking for friends, someone to do things with, such as go to museums. He thought I was a good candidate.
ME: Would you tell your wife?
HIM: Maybe. Or I’d just say I was going with someone from the office.
ME: How’s that going to work? She’ll say “Have a nice time and here’s some money for popcorn??”
I never did go anywhere with him.
It was a new relationship and we were discussing intimacy.
HIM: “You can touch whenever it’s appropriate.”
[He thinks a moment]
HIM: “And even if it’s not as long as you don’t get caught.”
ME: “In some ways I trust you a lot, in other ways not at all.”
HIM: “That’s because you’re smart.”
The recent term “alternative facts” regarding how many people attended the inauguration reminded me of something said to me long ago.
He was a new friend. I knew he got high but that’s not my thing. He was visiting one afternoon and we were having a discussion – I forget about what – and he said something questionable that I then challenged. He became somewhat indignant and offered a swift rejoinder.
HIM: “It’s a factual fact.”
That’s when I realized he was stoned.
We didn’t stay friends but to this day I trot out his words when I think my words need that little extra emphasis.