He wasn’t a regular customer…at least I hadn’t seen him here before.

The store was empty, save for me, when he walked in through the door.


He purchased a couple books but instead of taking them and walking…he looked me in the eyes…and then he started talking.


It was a free association of his thoughts…from one subject to another he would hop…and there was a time, I’m sorry to admit, when I wished for him to stop.


But I felt bad for thinking that…so I whisked that thought away…and I began to actively listen…to what he had to say.


Once that initial negative feeling I was able to reverse…I learned a lot about this young man in the hour we conversed.


I learned how old he was…about his family…and the reason he purchased his two books…It’s because he’s living on his own now and he wants to teach himself to cook.


I learned about the food he likes…how he’s really into spices…And now that he’s buying his own food…how he’s amazed at the high prices.


I learned about his job…where he goes to work each day…and amidst this plethora of information he was sharing…I learned his father had recently passed away.


It was here, for me, the pieces fell into place…all the clues were there….all the reasons…he was so willing, with me, to share.


All the stories of his family…of his mom (also passed) and his dad… 

He was a just little lonely…and he was just a little sad.


And in our moment of time together…in this uninhabited space

I found myself not only listening to his words but watching the expressions on his face…


And realizing, once again…not knowing what’s around the bend tomorrow….there is no substitute for joy in life…and there is no cure for sorrow.


And I was glad I chose to listen…glad he walked in through my door…

And glad that when he left…we were not strangers anymore.



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