There’s a man on my block who I’ve seen frequently for three years. “Do I know you?” I tell him we’ve met before. He switches a bag of cans to his left hand hand, holds the other out to shake. It always goes like this:
“My friend has a golden retriever puppy. I live down that way. The kids call me retarded. That’s not nice, is it?”
I’ll chat with him a while. Sometimes he hugs me. Often he repeats his story. One, I ask how big the puppy is. He motions, the size of a full dog.
They call me retarded. That’s not nice, is it?
I always shake my head and grab his hand. I never know what to say.