As I've mentioned before, I walk in a park each morning with my friend Irene. Irene just walks a little over two miles, and then drops out and goes home. I keep walking another two miles. While we're walking together, folks we encounter just smile or nod or say "good morning." Like that. I guess two of us together look too scary to approach or something like that.
After she leaves me, people, mostly men-people, are more apt to try to chat or walk along with me awhile. Guess one person alone must look lonely. These are not scary people so it's okay.
A few days ago a little old man, probably my age, came along with a big wicker basket. He limps a little. Well, he limps pretty much actually. He speaks with a heavy Russian-sounding accent. Told me that the park "Used to be farm." That's the way he put it. Not "This park used to be a farm." Just used a sweeping arm gesture and said, "Used to be farm." He told me that the basket was to gather turnip greens that still grow in scattered areas in the park.
He's right. After he showed me what turnip greens look like, and where-all they grow there, I can see that they do indeed still grow in abundance in the park. I already knew that the entire park, which is huge, was a former farm. He told me that he cooks them with bacon. Sounded pretty good.
The next morning, I swear I saw him leaving the park holdin' up a big ole possum by the tail. So I think he was lyin' about the bacon part.
Today, a guy came up the walkway towards me, and then stopped. "Didn’t you used to live in the Meadowlark Apartments?" he asked me.
"No. I didn’t," smiling, trying not to pause in my stride. But he's going to reverse his direction and walk along here with me a little, it's clear.
"Boy, you sure look just like a lady that used to live in the Meadowlark Apartments!"
“Right! I'm lying to you! I am that lady who used to....” That's what I felt like saying, but instead, I just repeated, "Sorry, not me."
Then he had to tell me that I have a twin somewhere and so on. And you know, I just might 'cause once before I retired I heard that too.
I was in line at the cafeteria at work when a woman who worked in the kitchen said to me, "Are you Ms. Robins?"
"No, I’m not."
"Really? Boy, you look just like Ms. Robins!"
I smile, trying to be nice and all, and that just doesn't come natural to me, ya know? But I'm trying: "No, my name isn't Robins. Sorry."
"Are you SURE you aren’t Ms. Robins? Because you sure look like Ms. Robins."
"Oh, wait!" I make a big show out of looking inside my blazer jacket, at the lining, and say, "My mother pins a note inside my jacket everyday with my name on it. Just let me check. Nope. No, I’m not Ms. Robins after all!"
She didn't smile back. After me tryin' to be nice and all. Huh! Some people.
You just can't be nice to some people.