May 14, 2012

This close

A crazy person approached me on the sidewalk. I could tell he was crazy because he was gesticulating wildly and yelling/barking at people both real and imaginary.

Made a quick assessment of the situation, and I realized there was no avoiding him. He was coming right at me, fast, and there was no easy way out.

So I decided to keep on moving toward him and make eye contact. He saw this, locked in on me and shouted "YOU...I'M TALKING AT YOU!!!"

Not good. But I remained calm, and I kept eye contact. "Hey. What's going on, man?" I asked.

This seemed to momentarily quell the crazy as confusion took over. "Um, nothing. What's going on with you?" he asked back.

By now our momentums (can I pluralize that?) were taking us past each other.  He with a wake of hardcore crazy streaming behind him. Me with more of a sputtering, bubbly wake of a slight beer buzz.

I looked back over my shoulder at him, smiled and said "Not much. Have a good one, buddy. Okay?"

He, still confused, nodded his head and replied "You too!" And we each made our ways away from each other in opposite directions.

That could have gone a different way. I wonder if he thought at all about the guy on the sidewalk who gave him the barest minimum of the time of day after our brief encounter. I know I'm still thinking about him.


11 comments:

RW said...

Nicely done. Kindness kills. Ought to be more of it. :-)

Slyde said...

Dude, i dont know how to break this to you, but that was just a mirror....

sybil law said...

Hahahaha Slyde!
And yes - sometimes just speaking normally to a crazy can confuse them completely. Actually, I think it works most of the time.

B.E. Earl said...

RW - Don't know if it was actual kindness on my part. Respect? Maybe. I dunno.

Slyde - I thought of that, but I only bark in the bedroom. YOU should know that!

Slyde - Don't feed the Slyde, he'll only follow you home and crap in your kitchen. Trust me.

RW said...

Well no, you know what... it's kindness because you were being kind to yourself as well as him. Think about it... say there had been a huge dust up, ok? So there's a question... WHY? For what? It's like when we were doing the protos of D&D with Gygax we'd "meet" these other characters on the road and there'd be this big stupid battle over who steps aside. It was insane and stupid, but it's the same thing as with you & twerp guy. It would have been... stupid. Not to mention pointless. So I think kindness, if not whatever the opposite of stupid is.

B.E. Earl said...

RW - Wow, a Gary Gygax D&D reference. Nicely played!

Poppy said...

Well done, sir.

Suzi Q said...

Hey, on a completely different topic, I thought we were going to be Pinterest friends? I can't find you...

Dr Zibbs said...

BWAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!!!!! At Slyde's comment!!!!!!!!!!

B.E. Earl said...

Suzy Q - I have no idea how you find someone. My screen name is B.E. Earl. Does that help?

Avitable said...

I always make eye contact with the crazies, but I would imagine that living in NY inoculates you to that type of thing quickly. Good going.