gall and gumption

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sidewalk

So this afternoon I spot A. walking toward me on the sidewalk. A. did me a nice favor a week ago and has been very charming and kind over the so far very brief duration of our acquaintance. I wave to him and he stops and I remark on the fact that he got caught in the downpour that ended moments before; there are raindrops on the shoulders of his jacket. A. says something about getting some fresh air, I say something stupid in reply, then he absentmindedly turns around 180 degrees and starts walking in the direction in which I, not he, was headed. He walks a few steps alongside of me and then sort of shakes himself and says something about being busy and tired, and turns back and goes on his way. For some reason this encounter leaves me feeling an odd mixture of foolish, happy, and bewildered. I realize that it's because while I meet a lot of people and make nice with all of them, there are few of them that I want to like me, that I feel it would make a difference if they did like me. I like them just fine, but there aren't many of them that I want to go trailing after to find out what they're thinking about oh heck anything. But he, inexplicably, is one of the few. "The soul selects her own society," Emily Dickinson wrote.

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