This conversation just occurred about 2 1/2 minutes ago at the Black Bear Bookstore and Cafe in my new home of Boone, North Carolina.
I walk into the sitting cafe area, a casual setting set up like a living room with a fake fireplace and stuffed chairs. An old man is talking to a young man about investments. With one glance I know the old guy's type- the guy who comes to the cafe without a book, friend or computer, and then preys upon everyone else to be his source of entertainment. With my round face and artless appearance, I've been the victim of this type of person too many times to count. Which is why I've learned never to leave the house without headphones. Even if I don't have anything to listen to, I can shove the sharp end into my pocket and no one is the wiser.
Back to the story, old guy is bantering to young guy about Apple shares and how if only his investment banker would have taken the chance back in 92 to purchase those Apple shares then they'd have 400,000$ now, wouldn't they. It is obvious the conversation, mostly one sided, has been going on for quite some time. Young guy is sitting over a table, trying to read a book, and half heartedly listening. Immediately, I sympathize with young guy.
When I return with my coffee, old guy is getting up and heading outside for a cigarette. Young guy casts me a furtive glance. "I need to go out there to make a phone call, but I know that guy will just bother me." He says.
"Yeah, I bet he will." I said, happy to empathize. Happy, in fact, to be speaking to anyone. I'm new in town.
"Do you know him?" Asks young guy, who is good looking in an Antonio Bandaris sort of way. He's about my age.
I shake my head no. "I don't know him, but I know his type." I smile.
"Well, I don't know him but I don't- I don't think he's GAY!!" Says young guy, backing away from me. Literally, backing away from me. "If that's what you meant!"
I thought -what the hell? I said aloud, "what? the hell?" What was I supposed to say? "I meant- the type of person who talks a lot." But I'm suddenly thinking- is this little conversation inadvertently making me seem homophobic? Do I need to throw in some comment about how if old guy is gay, then I totally support his right to love who he wants to love? Why am I talking to this guy anyway?
"Well, you said you knew his type, that could mean anything." Young guy is walking to the door, throwing his winter coat around his shoulders. I'm still standing there with my mouth open. Young guy is still talking as he steps into the ice storm outside. "I mean, if he is, maybe he is, I don't care cause I'm not that way....I'm not that way AT ALL."
Well, good for you young guy. Good for you.