I’m standing at the bus stop, likely wearing the kind of scowl that in a movie would cause a flash of green light and instant death to those nearby, because my commute has not gone well this morning.
A random older gentleman (ROG) approaches. He’s using a cane, puffing on a homemade cigarette, and sporting an enormous purple welt that engulfs his left eye and half of his face. He’s the type of “stranger” you’re warned not to talk to when you’re little, but talking to strangers is in my job description these days, and it’s usually one of the more rewarding components, so I engage:
ROG: Good morning, miss. Would you like a smoke?
Me: No, thank you.
ROG: Oh. Okay. Well, you’re very beautiful.
Me: Thank you.
ROG: Come around here often?
Me: Not really. Just waiting for the bus today.
ROG: Oh. Well, you’re awesome. Do you think I could have your phone number?
Me: Oh, no, thank you.
ROG: I’m 76, you know. Wait… no… I’m 67. Yeah! 67! I get so confused sometimes. But you know what I do ALWAYS? Take care of women. I might be old, but I will give you whatever you want. You want to go to the bank? Let’s go to the bank. I will get you whatever you need.
Me: That’s very sweet of you, but I have to get on this bus.
ROG: Too bad. Well, God bless.
Me: You too.
ROG: (yelling onto the bus) Wait. Are you SURE I can’t have your number?
ROG, I have no idea where exactly you thought that encounter was going to go, but props to you for having the courage to approach me and my death glare… and thank you for making me chuckle on a lousy morning.