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freeway stranger

took a walk this afternoon. my goal - a snickers bar from the groc store about a mile away, across the freeway overpass, not the prettiest or quietest walk but if I have a goal - even if it is candy, i can get some exercise. since I don't lift steel doilies all day, i have to work it in any way I can.

i bought a bag of snickers mini's, deciding I could trust myself not to down them all at once so I could spend my money more wisely per pound of fake chocolate than buy just one bar at triple the cost.

i nixed the plastic bag at the checkout and decided to tolerate the shame passersby might spew who saw me lugging this tonnage of unhealthy comestibles.

then I started imagining giving these things away to people along this unfriendly pedestrian route. i imagined a few scenarios with real people I crossed paths with but i didn't follow through.

at one point i'm waiting for the light to change at the freeway off ramp. this guy maybe 15 or so catches up with me. he seems friendly enough but I say nothing. he says a meek hi. i say hi back. i just start giggling and i give him one.

in a casual conversation voice, he says "I hate being a guy."

in a trying to be equally casual conversation voice I ask, "why?"

"because you've got this thing down there and it's hard all the time ... for. no. reason."

It's 2pm, the sun is shining brightly, four lanes of cars stopped at the light at a 4-lane road passing over the freeway. I'm not alone. he's not approaching me. and if he did, i feel i could take him down with little problem.

I look at him. he doesn't seem dangerous in the least. and he doesn't seem interested in me. or playing games. seems straight up.

I hesitate to ask, but then I go ahead, "did the chocolate make it worse or better?" hoping to get a better read on what's going on with him.

"oh, it's good. i'm hungry. and thirsty. i'm homeless."

"where ya headed?"

he pulls out a phone better than mine and aims it around the corner.

"up to San Francisco?" I ask.

"no, to the bay. for a job," he offers.

"what kind of a job are you looking for?" I ask as I give him a few more bars for the road.

at this point our light turns green.

"oh ..." and his voice drifts off as he starts to cross the road.

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