Two Tables for One

“Hey, buddy,” says the voice, “it’s a good thing you’re blind.”

“Glad you think so,” I say. “God knows I’m grateful.”

“You’re kidding, right? I mean, it’s a good thing you’re blind ‘cuz I was fixing to punch your lights out.”

“Say what?”

“I seen you when I come in and took a seat at the counter. Seen you over at that table, eating by yourself. So I catch your eye and nod, friendly like, not meaning nothing by it. And you just stare at me, you stare right at me. Hell, you stare right through me.”

“And you thought I was dissing you.”

“Whatting you?”

“Dissing. Being disrespectful.”

“Something like that. Whatever it is you’re doing is pissing me off.”

“Right.”

“Right. So, I want to punch your lights out, but I don’t. I see you’re eating and that reminds me I come in here ‘cuz I’m hungry. Being friendly, well, that’s just me. You, I figure you’ve got the problem. Think you’re too good for me or something.”

“And then you saw my white cane.”

“Right. When you got up to leave. And I figured I’d just catch up with you here at the cash register to see if you need any help, just to be friendly, you know.”

“Well, I appreciate that. It’s nice of you to ask.”

“Well, I like being friendly and helping out when I can. Want a toothpick? You just turn this little knob here and one rolls right into the tray here.”

“Don’t mind if I do. You turn the knob and I’ll thank you.”

“Say, they got a good cherry pie here. I seen you skipped dessert and, well, it gets a little lonesome sometimes, eating by yourself, don’t you think?”

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6 Responses to Two Tables for One

  1. Carl D says:

    Well Jeff – this little story is a lot like Victor-Marie Hugo’s charters. The sense of the story is in the reader. The reader must tell what it is that the blind man gets from the encounter. But, the story does say without the cane – we do not have a happy ending.
    The begging for forgivness by the stranger, even though no sin was committed, is deep – incredibly deep.

  2. Beth says:

    My favorite line: God knows I’m grateful.
    Hope you don’t mind if I steal that one. It will work as a great response when the next time I’m in someone’s messy house, or a friend walks in with hair askew, or any number of things and the sighted person, trying to be funny, hahahahaha, says, “Oh, Beth. You’re lucky you can’t see”
    PS: Thanks for your wonderfully written comment to my latest blog post, Jeff. You sure are a good writer!

    • Jeff flodin says:

      Thank you Carl and Beth,
      Thanks so much for your comments. I’m going to start collecting provocative phrases of varying lengths. So far this morning, my favorite two-word phrase is “All Inclusive.” My favorite four-word phrase, along the lines of “God knows I’m grateful,” is “God knows I try.” My favorite five-word phrases are “I quit taking my meds, and “I’ve quit going to meetings,” and “Jeff, we need to talk.” I’ll be working on three-word phrases. For some reason, I’m all out.

  3. Melissa says:

    Jeff-great story! My father is blind from birth and I notice when people go to shake his hand or try to catch his eye, and get confused when they don’t know he can’t see them (he doesn’t use a cane). I enjoy reading your stories. You have a great sense of humor and a wonderful way of putting things. Thanks!

  4. Jenny says:

    Hi Jeff
    I just discovered your blog through a link on Beth’s. Really enjoyed reading it.
    Jenny

  5. Jane Thomas says:

    Great story, Jeff. It reminds me of a conversation I once had with a teen ager who was complaining bitterly about the future of Social Security and Medicare. She lamented that they were not going to be there for her generation, and said to me (obviously aware of my advanced age), “You’re lucky you’re going to be dead.” Yeah, being dead sure is lucky.

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