On my way downtown the other day a dishevelled and olfactorily challenging fifty-something plopped down at the back of the bus with his garbage bag full of cans. When he started chatting up nearby passengers, a small herd leapt up and stampeded down the aisle. Witnessing this icy reception, a bright-eyed young guy and his fresh-faced girlfriend joined the man on the rear bench for some conversation.
I’ll chat with anyone, but I admit I rarely initiate conversation with strangers in a befouled state like this wayward fellow. Admiration for the kind young couple welled within my breast. After all, everyone deserves some company, no matter how they smell or how dirty their clothes. Basking in the warm glow of human connection, I pondered how to become kinder to my fellow man.
Suddenly, the young man and woman rushed past down the aisle. I turned around. The man with the cans was peeing into a Safeway bag.