Life of Carmen, Uncategorized

Seeing and being seen

Walking down Commercial Drive. Low muttering and footsteps coming up quickly behind me. I turn around—me, short and weighed down by my backpack full of computer and stuff—and look straight up at a tall man close by my elbow. He glares down at me, a young native man in a tan trench coat . “What you lookin’ at?”, he snarls. I look  up into his face and say, “well i heard steps coming up behind me ,and I’m…I am looking at you.”

The man seems so taken aback by the fact that I simply answer  his question, that the snarling mask slides right off his face. I am startled now, by how suddenly he stops being a menace and turns into a rather sweet-faced young man. He smiles slightly, and looking a little abashed – “oh,” he says. Pauses, then strides past me. A moment later he stops, turns back, and says quietly, “this might be a strange question but, can you give me five dollars for bus fare?” I hesitate, looking into his eyes. No, I can’t do that. He nods and as he turns to keep walking,  I say to his retreating back, “but good luck with it.” He turns again and looked at me with soft eyes. “Thanks”, he says, and vanishes on his long legs.

One Commnet on “Seeing and being seen

  1. i have had fantasies of any of my run-ins with unsettling situations going this way – glad to read it goes beyond my dreams. witnessing & witnessed

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