I don't know you

    I don’t know you. You don’t even look like someone I would know. Your long dreadlocks framing your face, that in the center has a shiny nose ring. Your rather imposing frame clad in tie-dye, camouflage and a homemade fabric devils tail tied to a belt loop.

    You’re that kind of person that makes me wonder, “Why?” But we are here, volunteering together, bonded, thanks to a radio station.

    But there you are, talking to me.

    Do I want to go get Alaskan tacos? Well yes, but with you? All I have to go on is the trust that anyone who volunteers for public radio must be a good person in some way, right?

    Okay, I’ll do it.

    Here we are, walking the brick roads, discussing my vegetarianism. You used to be a vegetarian, of course. Oh, but now you really like alligator?

    In sweltering heat, which shouldn’t exist at a time this late in the evening, we discuss my apparently insane decision to go to school in the frigid Midwest.

    Strange conversations about your financial mishaps at school and your volunteer work in New York carry us swiftly to the taco shop. We stare at the menu on the wall for a while. I squint as I try to decide, though the options are few. Vegetarianism.

    You already know just what you want (alligator tacos, of course). I stick with the vegetarian tacos (of course).

    Discussing the merits of extra guacamole, we sit in a booth beneath a sombrero and an Alaskan scenic painting. You’re telling me about your experience with online anarchist discussion boards. I’m explaining the house concert that once moved me to tears.

    I stare awkwardly at my napkins as you finish your third taco. Ready to leave.

    Just as we gross the threshold, you declare your desire for “a good whiskey.”

    I jokingly offer that I have no clue where you would find that. You don’t get it.

    Back to the uneven pavement, we are wandering again. Fittingly, we pass the James Joyce Pub, stopping abruptly to survey the scene further. Happy hour isn’t over yet, is it? Like I would know.

    Seems like this is where you and I part. To ease the exit I check the time on my cell phone. A quick glance in my direction is all you need to know it’s time. “Godspeed,” you offer, in a rather abrupt manner. I hope my confusion and amusement isn’t as visible as it feels. You climb the stairs, dreads and devil’s tail bouncing behind you into the dark, smoky pub, just as odd as when you appeared.


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