I met a guy on the subway last night. Or, rather, he just started talking to me. When he first sat down I thought he was a bum. He was carrying a crate with something wrapped in a garbage bag in it that he propped up between his legs. He was carrying a big gray stained coat and a black back pack stuffed with stuff; it looked heavy. When he sat down next to me I actually considered getting up and walking to another seat. I expected a sour smell to come from his direction and wondered when he might start muttering to himself. He didn’t. Instead he muttered to me.
“Sorry to bother you. But, I was curious about the book you are reading.” He said, reading over my shoulder.
I looked up from “Drop Dead Healthy” by A.J. Jacobs and showed him the cover of the book. He read it over appraisingly and then said, “You know. I write a website about health. You should check it out.”
I looked at the man again. Why did I think he was a bum? The crate could be some tool he needs at his job and maybe the coat is stained because he has kids and they spilled apple juice all over it. The man pulled out a bottle of oil and began to moisturize his hands. The oil smelled citrusy and made me feel comfortable. “Do you have a card?” I asked.
“No, but I’ll give you the address.” He pulled out a notebook covered in scribbles. He looked like a writer, for sure. I felt stupid at this point. Who was I to judge this guy? He is not only not a bum, he smells downright nice, he was wearing a Yankee hat that looked very trustworthy, and is giving me a web address for his website! I looked over the piece of paper he gave me and smiled. I hoped that maybe he’d read my smile as a: Hey, you’re OK, man. When I got off at my stop I wished him a good night. “I hope you check it out!” He called after me as I stepped off. “I will!” I responded.
It turns out his site is an advertisement for electrical shock therapy treatment with a huge banner for NetZero across the top. Did I look like I needed Electro-shock therapy?
I wonder what A.J. Jacobs would think of electro shock therapy. And I wondered again what the crate that man was carrying was full of.
October 14, 2012 at 8:43 pm by Natalie Allen