Speak Softly. Carry a Big Stick.

It’s post midnight at a bus-stop. The buses don’t take off that often, and judging by the schedule, I missed the previous bus by a few minutes and have to wait an obnoxious amount of time for the next one.

I’m standing with 3 other young men. An artistic type– the kind who eschews all television– a neighbor I see occasionally on the street, who creates his own clothes… he wears a small top hat. His slightly more culturally-in-tuned friend. And a third individual, on the other side of the bus stop.

The two discuss their late night bus-stop encounters with crack addicts. “So, he runs here… all paranoid, and goes into the corner, hiding behind me. I turn to him and say ‘Go away.’ He fidgets about, and it takes three demands for him to leave for him to leave.”

It’s an interesting conversation. I, myself, have on a few occasions accidentally thrown some signals to drug dealers and drug users. I must remember to modify my walking behaviour.

Along comes a guy, a decade and a half older than us twenty-somethings, waving a stick (seemingly from the bottom of a chair) in the air. “Hey!” He turns to the artistic type. “You support the troops?”


“‘Cause you gotta support the troops.”

“It depends on what you mean by the question. I don’t support war… like, ever. I guess I support people who feel strongly enough to… well, I hate the government’s action and I’m forced to differentate some things.”

“That’s cool.” The man walks ahead, still waving his stick in the air.

“Well, that was scary. But, seeing as he had a stick, I’m glad there wasn’t a wrong answer.”

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