aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Chance encounter

Out for a run this morning, on one of the first warm(ish) days of the year. There are lots of what I guess are Orthodox Jews in my neighborhood, I guess because there is a house of worship within walking distance. (I don't think I can call it a temple - it's in a strip mall type place.) So on Saturdays I pass men in black hats or yarmulkes. Usually they walk alone. Sometimes I see women and children walking separately from their men. Sometimes I'll see a man with a young boy. A lot of times they don't meet my eyes. I often wonder if my running tank top - and shorts, when it's warmer - are offensive.

Today I was stopped at the top of a hill, trying to get an eyelash out of my eye - and also because I need a quick break. I didn't see the guy until he was right behind me - yarmulke, friendly brown eyes, mid-30s.

"You can't tell anyone you saw me stopped," I said. "It will be our little secret."

His response was immediate. He said with mock severity in heavily accented English, "Then don't let me pass you again."

It made me smile for the next two miles. I like people who can banter. And to banter in your second language is a real feat. When I lived in Germany, I discovered how hard it is to "get" humor when you are out of your element. You tend to assume all conversation is serious, and it takes a while to work out that someone is joking. Usually by that time the joke has fled.

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