so i'm waiting for the bus last week and overheard a great conversation. i love the freedom of earbuds. if you have them in, people assume you aren't listening or can't hear them, and just act like you aren't even there. if i overhear something interesting, i pretend to be adjusting the volume and then turn off my ipod so i can listen. i'm not often disappointed.
last friday's chance conversation was great. there was this very beautiful but very prim black muslim woman sitting at the bench waiting for the same bus i take. "perfect," i thought, "very low chance of crazy here, i'll sit next to her." i was right. she was not crazy. but she was a crazy magnet. right after i sat down i see this guy walk up and make a beeline for her and start to chat her up. from the get-go i could tell homeboy's elevator did not, shall we say, go to the top floor. he tries a few lines on her and then tries to talk a little islam with her. it seems he's been to a mosque once in his life, so he obviously feels he knows everything about the muslim faith. by the way she was shutting him down, he apparently did not. undaunted, he moves on. she had some papers in her hand which she was obviously trying to read; whether because she actually was interested in them or was just trying to give this doofus a hint mattered very little as he just kept talking. "whatcha reading? is that a job application? are they hiring at the mall?" "no," she replied politely, "it's about some insurance for my new job." "oh," he says, and then, apropos of nothing and without skipping a beat, he says, "i'm trying to get a gun." she didn't say a word but he just kept going. "yeah, i keep trying to apply but they won't let me have one. they said it's about all my prior misdemeanors. they say i'm supposed to file some kind of papers to get them cleared up or something but it just seems like so much trouble. i mean i know lots of places i could get a gun." she kept on kind of nodding and mmm-hmmm'ing at him very politely until he finally gave up, gave her a butchered salaam alaikum and wandered off. when he was safely in the distance, i just turned my head and looked at her and our eyes met and we just both shook our heads and went back to what we were doing.