Tuesday, March 18, 2008

In Good Company...

The other day I came out of our neighborhood supermarket which is on a busy stretch of Broadway. Standing at the kerb was a tall, somewhat lanky African-American fellow, maybe in his fifties.

He was a bit hunched over and he was smoking a cigarette. I noticed he was having an intense and animated conversation.

This would not garner my attention. The conversation he was having was with a parking meter.
I didn't mean to stare, but it was something different. He looked my way and caught me eavesdropping on his exchange - if you want to call it that. He smiled and stretched out his hand, indicating the universal request for monetary assistance. I walked over, handed him a couple of dollars that had nested in my pocket, and said hello.

He proceeded to introduce me to his friend - the parking meter. I don't remember the name, just that it was male.

"He likes to count," the guy explained.

"Pleased to meet you, sir," I said to the meter.

"Don't be rude, man...say hello to the kind gentleman. He just gave us some bread for some smokes," the guy chastised the meter.

The meter didn't say anything to me, but he must have said something to the guy because he went back to having his conversation.

"Excuse me, I need to go. Enjoy your day..." I offered.

The guy just smiled and waved.

And out of the corner of my eye, I swear, I saw the meter smile too. Then he went on with his counting.

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