Two moments from yesterday evening.

Scene: me, waiting at the bus stop, downtown Victoria. (as usual)
Mentally disabled man stands beside me, starts talking.

Me: (taking earbuds out of my ears) Pardon me?

Guy: What your name?

Me: Nova. What’s your name?

Guy: Richard

Me: (nods)

Guy, AKA Richard: (extends hand out, as though we were going to shake)

Me: (Does the same to be polite.)

Richard: (Does crazy secret hand-shake kind of thing, complete with fist pounds and some kind of thumb thing with jazz fingers.)

Me: (Tries to keep up with crazy hand-shake.)

Richard: (Goes in for the hug)

Me: (Realizes he has a lot of dried ketchup on the corners of his mouth and on his white shirt.)

Richard: You’re a nice lady.

Me: Thanks.

Richard: (Stands there staring for an awkwardly long time staring at me.)

Me: So…did you have a good day today?

Richard: Yeah. (Rolls eyes as though it was a totally lame question.)

Me: Me too.

Richard: What bus you on?

Me: The thirty*.

Richard: Me, twenty eight.

Me: Oh.

Richard: My bus is coming. (points)

Me: Oh, yeah, there it is. Cool.

Richard: See you later. (Even more elaborate hand-shake, followed by hug.)

Me: (Leaning way back, stiff one-arm hug, trying not to encourage any more physical contact) Yup, bye.

Richard: Cute glasses.

Me: Okay. Bye! (Note to self: Never wear glasses at the bus stop again.)

—–later, on my walk home—–

Seeing a bunch of ‘free stuff’ left over from a garage sale, including books, I wander over to some guy’s yard. He’s kneeling on the curb, scrubbing it with an old shirt.

“I left a few cans of paint out here and look what they did.”

I look…yep, definitely a mess. I wonder who “they” is.

“Hm, that sucks. Hey, is that a full set of encyclopedias?”

Two minutes later I’m on the phone with Ryan asking him to come pick me and 26 books up.


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