In case the last 59 years had not taught me this already, I learned it again this morning: the moment you think you have someone pegged, they will surprise you.
Today’s lesson came as I overheard a conversation in Starbucks between two gentlemen who could only be described as bros. One looked to be in his early 20s and was wearing a sweatshirt from his high school. The other was probably in his mid-thirties but looked older. To give you the flavor of the conversation, here are some things that were said.
Older bro: I don’t ever want to get married.
Younger bro: I know; getting married scares me to death. The only way I’d ever marry someone is if I loved her so much that I wouldn’t care if she took everything [in a divorce].
Older bro: Women are much better than we are, dude. Men do everything half-assed. Women work hard.
On How to Pass the Time
Younger bro: I just want to put on a pair of boots and walk. That’s all I want to do. I just want to use my legs. I don’t even want to use my arms. Fishing — you gotta pull the fish out of the water and then put them back. What’s the point in that?
Older bro: Last winter, I spent the whole time walking between here and [neighboring town]. That was great. You gotta have a good pair of boots, though.
Older bro: Drugs and alcohol are part of everything. I don’t think it’s possible to live clean and sober. You can have periods of abstinence, but we gotta put things in our bodies. Some people do drugs, some people drink, some people eat, and some people kill. They’re all just habits, dude. There was that one guy [a military sniper] who had 260 kills and he was happy about it. That’s f*ed up, dude. I mean, he ended 260 people’s lives.
Younger bro (indicating a truck in the parking lot): That truck is too much truck, dude. That one is, too. I’d want a V-6, maybe.
Older bro: The problem with having more than one vehicle is that you gotta have a place to park ’em.
Older bro, drawing on a sheet of paper: The sun is round. [Drawing once more.] The moon is round. Do we get stuck in a circle and not even know it? I think that’s how we get old. You get stuck in a circle and don’t even know it.
Older bro again: Something happened in a different galaxy. Like maybe the Big Bang happened and some souls got out and that’s how we got here.
Older bro once more: Do you think that the seat you’re sitting on wasn’t a life once? Everything was a life — the tables, the seats, especially this window.
And then out of nowhere…
…older bro says, “I calculated 119 possible ways, but it has to be 118.” He shows younger bro a sheet of paper on which he had written some things in the ancient Mesopotamian script of cuneiform. Evidently, he had been calculating the possible number of symbols that the script could represent.