Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What meets the eye

A man walked down the street and passed me as I was waiting for a bus today.

I could tell from a block away that he was carrying a 50-pound sack of dog food because it's the same brand we buy and the bag is distinctive.

Having personal experience in the matter, I thought about making a comment about how heavy the sack was.

As he got closer, I could see that the sack was only half full, meaning of course that if it was dog food, it was only 25 pounds, and if it was, say, his laundry, it might not have been all that heavy at all.

Still, it was definitely bulky and did look kind of heavy so as he drew abreast of me I went ahead and said "light as a feather, that there," or some such thing. You know, all neighborly like.

There was nobody else around and I said it plenty loud enough, but he didn't respond with a smile or a nod or anything. In fact, he didn't even glance my way.

He continued on and rounded the corner at the end of the block and I wondered if he'd taken me literally and thought I wasn't making any sense, or maybe it seemed like a dumb thing to say. Or maybe he was annoyed or something.

I didn't actually give it that much thought, until he came back around the corner a few minutes later, this time without the sack. There was a woman coming from the other direction, and apparently they knew each other because they both stopped and exchanged a few words.

In sign language.

2 comments:

Jennifer January 24, 2007 11:09 AM  

Good story! At least he wasn't being rude.

Dad January 25, 2007 2:27 PM  

Hi -

(Just back from two days away...)

I actually thought of that as a possibility before you gave away the ending. We never know, do we?!

Hidden disabilities are just that. Once when Mom was giving a workshop (when she was directing the Options for Independence program in Auburn) I met a woman who was severely allergic to wool. She told me (not as a complaint but as explanation) that my sport jacket was giving her difficulty.

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