It was the summer of 2011 and I had just finished a long, hard run and was quite proud of myself for not tripping, falling or shearing off any sort of skin on my body.
To paint the picture more clearly, I looked like I had just gone for a swim in a sticky, salty creek that also had caused all the blood to rush to my face. My hair was falling out of my ponytail, with strange curls sticking up in every direction. I was wearing clothes that should match, but were instead ill-fitting and causing some sort of chafing on my legs and boobs. This was causing me to walk like I had been riding a horse for days and hold my boobs in sheer pain so they wouldn’t jiggle, wiggle or make any sort of movement.
Long story short, I was ripe for the picking for some single man looking to get down.
After my run, I walked around the block to cool down. While doing so, I spied a rather skinny, dirty man walking ahead of me. He was picking up spare aluminum cans in a plastic bag that had seen better days.
As I walked quickly by him, I gave him a smile in greeting.
This may sound dumb or naïve, but I try to smile at most people when making eye contact. Honestly, I feel like a smile can really brighten someone’s day! I’ve had my plethora of really bad days, and I’m always reminded no day is really that bad after a stranger shows a small act of kindness. Going out of his or her way to hold a door. Giving me a big smile for no reason. Letting me cross over two lanes of traffic even if it’s not my turn. Stuff like that.
Granted, most of the time, I believe that people are complete assholes. But sometimes, after enough medication, I contradict myself and think that perhaps some people are not total assholes. Maybe they’re just assholes some of that time.
Maybe thinking like this is silly. But I try to repay small acts of kindness when I’m so inclined, regardless of your walk of life.
Back to the story: This man then turned to show me he had one eye and no teeth. Upon smiling at him and saying hello, he gave me a big, gummy smile and picked up his pace to match mine.
“You just got done with a run?” he asked me with the same big smile plastered on his face.
“Yes I did! Glad it’s over,” I responded.
“Yeeeaaaahhhh,” he said to me as he gave me a once over. “You’re in good shape, girl.”
I then began to pick up the pace more.
“You have a hot bath waiting for you at home, I bet! You better have yourself a good man. A girl like you deserves a good man. Get you a hot bath. Yeeeahhhh.”
I giggled uncomfortably as I turned the corner to head toward my street.
I was about 10 feet away from him when he yelled, “I WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!!!!”
I looked around uncomfortable as all the couples walking their dogs stopped to stare and the families playing in their front yards gave me curious eyes.
I felt like a record scratching in a bumpin’ club with all eyes turned toward me.
“MY NAME IS CHRIS!!!” he shouted, now even further away.
“I WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!!!” he shouted again.
How did this man have such amazing lung capacity??? People were now blatantly staring at me, mouths gaping as I smiled at them nervously.
“YOU NEED TO COME SEE ME SOMETIME!!!!”
“I STAY DOWN OVER BY THE METRA STOP!!!! COME FIND ME!!!”
If you are going to invite a strange girl over to your place, you might want to have an actual roof, walls and floors.
This has caused me to give pause when smiling at strangers.
However, if a smile is an invitation to run me a bath, well, on second thought, maybe I should start smiling at MORE strangers.
Rub-a-dub-dub, my sweaty ass needs a scrub.