i was running late for a therapy session in long beach this morning. as i pulled up to the curb, across the street from my client’s house, hurriedly popped open my truck to retrieve a box of Candyland, Go Fish cards, Madagascar-themed stickers, some simple puzzles, and a box of hand puppets, two men strolling down the sidewalk abruptly stopped next to my car.
one walked over and stood next to me as i surveyed the remaining toys, debating whether or not i should bring any more. i looked curiously at him. he was heavy-set, with a shaved head and blood-shot, red-rimmed eyes. “i just want you to know, you’re the most beautiful woman i have ever seen. you’re amazing.” the words pierced my consciousness as if in a dream. i was slowly registering the fact that he was attempting to express interest in me. he edged closer, as if to put his arm around me. i inched away, looking him in the face. i couldn’t get over how red his eyes were. he continued to hover close by. “do you have a boyfriend?” i told him, as gently as i could, that i appreciated the gesture but i was not “looking” currently. he didn’t get the hint.
“can i have your number?” i refused as politely as i could, with as much respect as i could muster. he finally understood and backed away, turning his head and dismissing me. he and his friend continued down the street. i was in a state of shock for a few minutes. i stood there, trying to process fully what had happened. the whole exchange had taken less than 5 minutes, but even now, looking back, it seems like time was moving so slow.
you could say i was shocked, disgusted, amazed, humored by the absurdity of it all.
i made sure i was still holding my games and toys, looked both directions to check for cars, ran across the street, and into the home of a little 4 year-old boy sitting in a giant armchair, waiting eagerly for me to bring some sunshine into his little, lonely world.