So I see a guy around the office.
His job is to keep stuff clean and deal with the trash.
He has that special look on his face.
He doesn’t talk much. He often makes soft guttural noises as he works.
I see him in the cafeteria. He’s always eating alone.
I remember a grocery bagger in Sedona that I thought had too many bong loads for breakfast one morning.
I was working craft service for a movie of the week. I had two shopping carts full of snacks.
This kid wasn’t bagging my stuff. Just reading labels on all my snacks.
I asked him nicely several times to bag my stuff.
He just kept reading the labels and bagging some stuff and some stuff he would put back down.
Frustrated I finally walked up behind the guy and said, “what are you retarded?”
He turned around and yeah, he was special needs.
He said “hi.”
I vow to do better — offer this guy some humanity.
I walk in the cafeteria one day. He’s sitting alone.
I said “hello” and asked if he minded if I sat there.
He shook his head no.
I’m feeling pretty good. Is this what redemption feels like? I wonder.
I take a seat.
He starts talking.
He’s not special needs.
Within five minutes this guys is loudly describing every intimate detail of his relationship with his girlfriend… in a physical sense.
Everyone within a fifty foot radius could hear this guy pretty clearly.
From their awkward stares I can tell they think I’m in agreement.
I said “No! I sat here because I thought he was retarded.”
I left the cafeteria.