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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Return of the Hugger

My incoherent street guy who likes to hug stopped in. I heard the familiar sound out front of someone involved in a one sided conversation; but at first, I figured it was another cell-phone addict. You know the ones. They walk down the street waving their arms, staring straight ahead, and speaking or yelling at no one visible. When I’ve gone out front in the past to see if they’re talking to me, I get the arrogant finger point to some ear insert. This time, I’m in the middle of cutting up boxes for the recycler, when the voice comes into the shop. I go out with box and cutters in hand as the man approaches. It’s the Huggy Bear. He immediately puts his arms out, a big smile on his face, and comes toward me. I meet him with the box I held in hand.

“No hugs, how can I help you?”

Huggy Bear lets loose with three full minutes of utter nonsense, or it might as well have been, because I don’t understand a word of it. When he gets through, he looks at me expectantly, and then goes for the hug again. Again, I meet him with the box.

“No hugs,” I repeat. “I didn’t understand anything you said.”

Huggy’s lip starts quivering, and he says, “I hate myself.”

Yea, I’m thinking, I’m not real partial to you either. I smile and nod understandingly.

“I…I just got back from Saudi Arabia,” Huggy informs me, still trying to squeeze a couple tears out.

I can’t help it. I start laughing. The county jail, maybe… Saudi Arabia, no. He tries to look outraged for a moment, gives it up, and tries to hug me again. Up went the box. At least he wasn’t drunk this time. Huggy launches into stories of three or four cars I’d worked on for him in the past; which of course I didn’t, but I can understand what he’s saying now.

“Give me a business card,” Huggy orders suddenly.

I hand him a business card. He looks at it, and walks out. A few seconds later I hear him shouting again, and walk out to watch him. There’s nobody around Huggy, so I go back inside. Maybe he sees dead people. :)


Bernita said...

One of those lives in my town.
And he's about 6 foot tall and weighs about 250.

BernardL said...

Wow, Bernita, I'd need a bigger box. :)

Jordan Summers said...

You never know. Maybe he does. ;) I still say that you need to gather all these stories and put them in a book. :)

BernardL said...

Hi, Jordan. I did. It's in e-book form with search options, called Bernard's Blog. :) Seriously, as soon as I have more people interested than I have locked up in my closet, I'll consider it. :)