My parents would not be pleased. I stopped off at Tomlinson Tap Room, parked my bike in the public space on the southwest corner. On my exit, I noticed a gentleman reading under one of the lamp posts on a bench. I opted to ride my bike in his direction, kind of curious what he was reading. I almost felt as though I was intruding, but still continued to inquire, “May I ask what you are reading?” He went into explaining this murder mystery. The title and author escape me now. He was incredibly descriptive of the characters and synopsis as to his nearly a quarter way into the book. I listened. In trying to find some sort of similarity, I mentioned that I had read a few murder mysteries by the author Mary Higgins Clark and inquired if he had read any of her books. He had. Great. Our conversation grew into present day politics, business and our synopsis or beliefs on why things are the way they are today on a few different topics. Finally, an introduction to Jeffrey, 53. I inquired if he had any children. Two daughters, Danielle, 23, and Elizabeth, would be 20. It had been 14 years since he had seen his girls, but not a day goes by that he doesn’t think about them. I asked if he had a photo of them. He did not. I replied, “But of course you have their photos in your mind.” Although, they were ‘yay high.’ he replied.
Jeffery is from Mooresville. That is where I grew up. He had lived in Colorado and Texas. He wasn’t a fan of Texas. He mentioned he enjoyed speaking to me as it had been a while since his last opportunity to have an intelligent conversation. Another gentleman came up, he inquired to Jeffery, “Are you homeless?” –Kind of rude, if you ask me– as if trying to bud into our conversation in a rude manner. Jeffery simply replied, “Why?” The guy, closer to my age, said, “Be careful on Ohio Street, apparently someone is going around with gasoline and spraying the homeless who are sleeping.” We all came together as to how asinine the idea of this is. Then, paying attention to time, I had been there an hour. I politely excused myself for my bike ride home. I’m sure I’ll see Jeffery again. I’ll carry a book on me to be ready.