It's tough to remember it right now in the rain and the cold and the wind, but it was very lovely outside on Saturday. I took a long walk that took me all over town. On my way down Pleasant Street towards Valley Fabrics I was confronted with three happy drunk guys in their 30s, all boozy-smellin'. The ringleader was wearing a Red Sox shirt and bandana on his head. He was very, very happy.
Red Sox Guy: Hey, you have a nice smile. Can you answer a question for us?
RSG, putting his arms around his buddies: Which one of us.... (long dramatic pause) looks the most gay?
me: Hmmm.... (they crack up as I settle on the smallest one who has kind of long-ish hair) I've gotta say him. But none of you look gay, really! [for one thing, they'd be much better dressed...]
(The other two head off arm-in-arm to Northampton Lodging. RSG decides to keep talking to me, saying that he wants a TV show where he asks questions to random strangers on the street. I say it sounds like a good idea. He peppers me with questions.)
RSG, condensed: So what's your name? Are you in school? Have a boyfriend? Pining over someone? Man, I've been hung up on someone for three years. She's already had a serious relationship and had it end, and I still haven't dated anyone!
Me: (Minimal noises of sympathy.)
RSG: Let me ask you, how old do you think I am?
Me (Considering I can't see his forehead and he's all puffy and beer-bellied, it's actually hard to say, but I am always careful with this question, so:) Um, 28?
RSG, very proudly: I'm nearly 40! Come on, you didn't really think I was 28, did you.
Me: Well, it's hard to tell, plus, y'know, I was being polite.
RSG: So where are you heading right now?
Me: I'm going up to the fabric store, because I'm making some clothing for my niece.
RSG: Wow, so you're one of those people that, like, finishes stuff. I wish I could do that.
Me: ... Okay, well, I'm going to get going.
RSG: Deb, do you mind if I holler at you the next time I see you on the street? I'll be like "Hey Deb!"
Me: And I'll be like "Hey, there's that crazy guy!"
And that was that. I have a soft spot for the friendly drunks. It's probably smarter to just ignore them and keep walking, but I don't mind engaging in stupid banter with them. I don't entirely blow them off unless it feels semi-threatening or too creepy. I mean, RSG was coming onto me, but he didn't seem dangerous or out-of-control drunk (wasn't slurring his speech or swaying). And I'd never, say, go "party" with them, or give out any personal information off any kind. So what's the harm? Maybe someday I'll be getting robbed in an alley and RSG will lurch out of the shadows and tell his buddy to stop mugging me because I'm a friend of his. I'm just sayin: You Never Know.