Just a few people left on the bus as we drift down Third. Two dear friends of mine have just sat down toward the front, and a young woman in black is seated halfway down, an audience watching, smiling and laughing, as a gentlemen comes up to the front and settles into the chat seat. He's got something to say, and we get it said, at high volume-
"Hey, I wanna tell you something,"
"I wanna tell you something for real."
"I been watching you, and I jus' wanna say,"
"I just wanna say, I been payin attention to your style up here, and man, you got somethin' goin on. I been watching the way you treat the people, man, and you got a great attitude."
"Oh, you're too kind!"
"No, man, don't gimme that. I'm serious. I'm a tell you- as a black man-"
"As a black man-"
"I'm a only say this one time. Cause I mean this. You got common sense."
"Oh, I try!"
"You know what common sense is?"
"A definition of common sense?"
"Yeah, common sense."
"Well, being reasonable, for one,"
"Listen, man, you can't be throwin' this away. I'm a only tell you this one time, cause I mean it."
"I'm a marine!"
"I'm a marine! And I'm tellin' you, as a black man-"
"Aw yeah, do it-"
"Listen now. You are honest, and sincere, and you care about people, and you got life in you!"
"I try. I'm a try- I hope I can live up to those words-"
"Dog, don't throw this away. I'm tellin' you somethin'. You know have those things inside a you, and that-"
"You got to acknowledge the great things about yourself."
"Thank you. You're awesome."
"No, you're awesome!"
"But listen, it goes both ways. If you sense it in someone else- if you feel it, you got it!"
"Don't be turnin' this shit around."
"You're very generous!"
"You have an effect on people. You have an attitude,"
"And I can tell you ain't fakin' it."
"Thank you. To get this kinda feedback, man, for you to say this, means-"
"And I'm tellin' this to you as a black man- what's your name?"
"My name is Nathan, what's your name?"
"Black Man, it's a pleasure!!"
"I'm a only tell you this one time!"
"I'm tellin' you- as a black man! I don't say this stuff to everybody. You got a beautiful thing goin' on, man, you keep it up!"
"I'm a keep it up. I'm a do my best!"
"I say this to everyone- naw, just kidding!"
"Listen, my friend, thank you. I'm honored."
"I see you laughin' back there, girl, don't you be laughin'!"
"Hey, thank you."
"My name's Ray."
"You're awesome, Ray. Have a great day!"
"I already am, Nathan. You too!"