Saturday, December 18, 2010

human

reading Bukowski, at a high top table by the coffee shop in the bookstore, a man's voice, but little, pricks my ears, pulling my eyes from the prose...

"i like your mohawk."

"thank you"

"i guess people look at you different, huh?'

"oh, i don't know. as long as i am comfortable with it, right?"

"i used to have one, six months ago. they called me last of the mohicans."

"i guess people will think what they want, you just have to decide if you mind."

gap toothed, fro tight, he's maybe five-six, mid-twenties, festive scarf around his neck, bright as the grin on his face. one eye drifts just enough to notice...

"you are not from around here are you?"

"i grew up not too far from here but i have lived up and down the coast. how about you?"

"oh, i have always lived in the south, but here is where i have been mostly. i would not mind living in South Carolina or Atlanta. i like the warm feel of the people."

"both are nice places."

"yeah i don't know that i could live in a place like New York. they might make fun of me cause i am different."

"New York is pretty cool, i have visited there. lots to do. lot of art. lot of different people. i think you might be alright."

"i just don't think i would fit."

wiping his hand on his jeans, he extends it in expectation, his skin a bit dry as i take it. we exchange first names and i invite him to sit. i don't know him, but i see in him he just needs to fit somewhere and for twenty minutes, it's at a high top table by the coffee shop in a bookstore.

just him and me, as the world blurs around us.

human.

91 comments:

kaleidoscope said...

one child of earth to another...beautiful:)

Miss Nikki said...

i like being human at times, it brings unexpected moments like this. i need to be human more often... thanks for the momentary escape into humanity, i needed it!

p.s. sorry for the lower caps i, i'm just not feeling human right now, or am i and i'm just expressing my own individuality?

LadyCat said...

This brings to mind one of my favorite verses, Hebrews 13:2...
"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it".

Jannie Funster said...

FOURTH!!

I'm FREAKING FOURTH on Brian Miller's Blog!!! Highest I've been here yet, I think.

xo

Jannie Funster said...

THAT out of my system...

I have 3 or 4 Bukowski's to give away after the new year.

Would love to check out all that NY art -- only spent a couple days in that town, 20 years ago.

xo

Sumit Sarkar said...

Oh! lovely..
The way you ended the story was superb...
"human"... :)

Tina said...

I love it when you give us these little snippets of your keen observations. Nice.

Jinksy said...

You captured a touch of magic...

Magpie said...

Brian, I sometimes think you are a bit more than human...in a wonderful way.

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

We must frequent the same bookstore,
as this seems like a page out of my day.

Anonymous said...

heart warming brian. thats a sweet gesture to a fellow human being.

trisha
mydomainpvt.wordpress.com

Tom said...

mohawk brethren

Crystal Jigsaw said...

That was a really well written post, Brian, just like all your posts. Really enjoyed it and it made me feel warm inside.

Best wishes, CJ xx

Bonnie said...

...open...accepting...interested...inclusive... REFRESHING!

faith said...

What a wonderful piece. Perfect for the season. Human!

Jen said...

Now I'm trying to picture you with a mohawk. I bet you'd rock that look!

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

Oh, I love this!!!

AngelMay said...

Nice vignette, Brian. Very enjoyable.

ModernMom said...

...you just have to scrape beneath the surface:)

secret agent woman said...

Everyone needs to feel accepted.

Mama Wheaton said...

Stangers no more.

who said...

it good writing Brian, it sounds sort of like eight past five an jumped to 30sp2 orbit though

Colleen said...

It's a pretty incredible thing when you can see the longing for acceptance in another person and maybe just for a short time, show them kindness. These are the moments that matter most, don't you think?

DJan said...

Your title says it all. We are all human. Our shared humanity comes through in this lovely piece.

Pat said...

Everybody's different; yet we're all the same. Amazing.

kkrige said...

sweet story Brian.

Claudia said...

..he just needed to fit somewhere..and you made some room for him and allowed him to fit into your bukowski moment - maybe meant a lot to him..

CM said...

I wish more people could be "human." Everyone is so caught up in their own little world, selfishly rushing here and there, not noticing people like this, like you do Brian. That is your gift.

PS. You have a mohawk? Did not know. I bet your boys think it's cool.

Daniel said...

Man you can sure make connections so easily. Nice feel to this one.

Tabor said...

Nicely done. With everyone second guessing everyone's ulterior motives in the country these days, it is nice to see two human beings being human.

nance marie said...

yeah, i guess that was pretty good...like i read it. right?

;-)

Sue J said...

A few words of kindness cost nothing and do so much good. Nicely written.

Goofball said...

I'm sure he was very glad with your time and conversation

Baino said...

Is this true? I have a friend who says bookshops are great places to meet people. Must try it. Although I thought mowhawks went out with the punks?

Paul C said...

Wonderful that you took the time to connect with this man who needed some companionship- a lesson for us all.

otin said...

If some stranger comes up to me I usually say" What the hell do you want!" haha

deb said...

I am feeling especially blessed by someone who reached out lately ,

I hope I remember to do this, to spread this feeling.

sheila said...

Love this, because sometimes we're all just waiting for a place to fit in. Very nice. Humanity at it's simplest. :)

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

:) human... today I feel that.

rosaria at the lake said...

Two cool dudes!

Joanna Jenkins said...

This is my kind of bookstore with people that aren't afraid to strike up a conversation.
Nice job Brian.
Merry Christmas. jj

Arts web show said...

Conversations like these always leave me feeling a bit odd, not in a bad way.
lol
I like this.

Betsy said...

I just love your big ol' tender heart! :)

gayle said...

I love talking to people I don't know! This was really a nice one!

Shell said...

Kind heart, gentle soul. Beautiful words.
~Shell

Syd said...

Nice to meet a fellow traveler. I don't think that I would fit as well in NY as I do in the South.

PattiKen said...

That is so charming. You have such a warm soul, my friend.

TALON said...

I enjoyed this, Brian. I like those type of sponteanous exchanges...

Jill said...

Oh, wow...everyone needs to be human or at least "feel" human at some point right?

Are you really reading Bukowski? Isn't he the guy that writes about the urban poor in LA???

Hope said...

very nice!
thank you

Neva Flores said...

Brian, what a lovely story......

Stranger said...

I love Bukowski and I love humans. The allusion to Bukowski along with themes of alienation and just letting a person be is well done. And I love the connection here. Everyone has moments when they need a moment of fitting in. Brian, youcreate fantastic characters and your narrators are so damn cool and likable. Write on!

ladyfi said...

So beautiful and touching. If only we could all remember that underneath it all - we are all human!

Alan Burnett said...

Some times it's the first thing that we forget when sorting ourselves and others into categories - we're all human.

Susan Deborah said...

I guess I should state Stranger's comment as my own as well. The thoughts running in my mind whilst I was reading was captured very well by the Stranger.

Joy always,
Susan

Zuzana said...

I completely loved this. A random encounter. Those are the best as they always mean something, whether we realize it immediately, after few days or years...
Have a lovely Sunday dear Brian,
xoxo

slommler said...

What a wonderful conversation! Sharing human contact...bringing peace and ending loneliness..even if just for a few minutes.
Loved this story Brian!!!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Sh@s said...

Beautiful. Keeping the human touch alive. Its sad that many a times we end up making others feels out of place rather than make them feel at home or atleast human.

Valerie said...

Touching, refreshing, and so readable. Loved it.

5thsister said...

That so reminds me of my coffee shop encounter with the elderly woman who was mourning. Great post Brian!

kaykuala said...

Brian,
The human spirit has untold abundance of friendliness. It is aptly shown here. Great!

Jim Swindle said...

This is a great vignette.

Cheryl said...

Nice moment, Brian.

Pauline said...

a touching vignette

Lorraine said...

special moments, they occur occasionally just to remind us we are tied together, and how well you say it :)

Lori said...

Very cool interaction Brian...happy Sunday!

Helen said...

Perfect, especially now.

Candie Bracci said...

Beautiful!

Pastor Sharon said...

It's a good place to be when we can embrace each other's differences and just trust the process that we are all human. . . and all need the fellowship of each other.

kathew said...

and you are an angel to be so kind- so many forget the simple acts.
Merry Christmas!

Myrna R. said...

How sweet and sensitive you are. I am from New York and a little of that suspicious nature still lurks within me at times. It may stop me from such human moment as these. I think this kind of connection no matter how short is what makes us human... and perhaps devine.

mama-face said...

"just needs to fit somewhere". wonderfully compassionate.

only a movie said...

Children of the universe.

:-)

Very cool.

Tess Kincaid said...

Nice slice of live here, Brian. I love how your hair is an ice breaker!

ds said...

What it means to be human: just wanting to fit in somewhere. And you feel it. Thank you.

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
Nice gesture on...
Brian, I usually, read your post and then go back and read your commenter'
comments, but I took a peek and read the first couple of comments and I must say that I agree with the commenter, LadyCat, comment...
...100% percent.
Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

the walking man said...

Which Bukowski? Did the guy turn out to be your Hank? Good one Brian, kindness to strangers is the best kind of ness.

Raven said...

Wonderful. Powerful. Very well done, Brian.

Carrie Burtt said...

I love this Brian! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas! :-)

Otter Thomas said...

The world needs more people like you. In my experiency kindness to a stranger is almost dead. Good for you.

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

if we could only talk more and judge less...nicely done!

phil said...


The warmth of people
and just some lovely talk.
Excellent!

The Retired One said...

Nice, really nice!

Lisa said...

Brian, this is such a perfect piece. It is, I think, the commonality of us all--to be reminded that we belong to each other. I love it!

Shail Raghuvanshi said...

Lovely Brian. Nice

Birdie said...

beautiful!! happy day Brian!

Mmm said...

gosh, this brings tears to my eyes, ready to fall. I love that. human connection. We all so need that. I can tell you, there have been many a time I longed adn prayed for jsut someone to notice me, to say hello adn if someone like you had invited me to sit I would have felt such warmth in that. We need that when feeling like we don't fit in, or are weighed down with things. You did a great thing there, Brian.

A.Decker said...

Nicely done. Yes, human.

But I'm confused a little. You got a Mohawk?

;-)

nimaruichi said...

Glad you took his hand, and kept his hope alive. :)
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Lolamouse said...

nice story. gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling. thanks.

Tina said...

I remember this one, because I had you send me a picture of you with a Mohawk after that, but I can't find my comment. Oh well...
Giving someone a place to belong, even if it's just for a while is a true gift.
Tina @ Life is Good