Students confuse teachers, patients confuse psychiatrists, lovers with confused hearts confuse lovers with clear hearts. – Tom Robbins
On Sunday morning sometime in the 7 o’clock hour I sit on a bench reading a book and waiting for a bus. I often wait at this bus stop early in the morning and although I don’t want to admit that I make assumptions about people I often do and of the people waiting at the bus stop early on Sunday mornings I assume one of three things: they are on their way home from work; they are on their way to work; or they are on their way home from a rave.
This morning the sun is already bright and there are two other people waiting, one sitting and one standing. The person standing is wearing a green t-shirt and cargo shorts and carries a backpack. I assume he is going to work at a coffeeshop or a deli or a warehouse or a gas station or maybe he is a groundskeeper at one of the cemeteries around here (there are many). He approaches me.
He says: Excuse me, are you lost?
I say: Am I lost?
He says: Yeah are you lost?
I look around. I consider if I am lost. Then I say: no. I’m waiting for the bus. And I gesture towards the bus stop sign.
He says: Oh well I think I live around here.
I say: So…are you lost?
He says: Well I can’t get wifi, but I think I live around here. I think I live that way.
I say: Okay. Well. Good luck.
He walks east away from the bus stop. I don’t consider until he is gone: was this man asking for help? Maybe we could have looked at the map on my phone to find his house or at least to find his bearings.
But sir how could I have known you wanted help. Ever since you asked me if I was lost, well…I spent the rest of our conversation, lost.