Lend me an ear

“My kid was diagnosed with A.D.D. when he was six, we’ve got a couple of kids that are bipolar, that kid over there has cerebral palsy in his leg or something, and see that kid right there? He just got out of jail,” the big guy said to the reporter – the one writing things down in his reporter’s notebook. “If you could, don’t talk to (juvenile delinquent). I want to stay positive.”
Strangers with this kind of honesty make me go a big rubbery one.
(I stole that from Fight Club, which I watched in a NyQuil-induced stupor Monday night).
But it is interesting what people will tell a perfect stranger like me, notepad open and pencil poised, after just a few minutes.
I seriously didn’t want to be at the BMX park on Friday. Not at 7 p.m. I was feeling like shit, I had already worked all day – and I now had to smile and write stuff down for a story. A story I wasn’t particularly interested in.
I had a really good time.
It’ll be a great story.
I guess it was because everyone was so open. These were lower middle class folks mostly, the people who serve your food and clean your homes.
And they were there to watch their kids ride their bikes along a dirt track. Keep them off the streets, keep them away from the blinking glow of a television screen.
I told the photographer that I needed a lot of shots.
“I’m going six columns with this story,” I said.
The whole page. Dedicated to BMX.
Because everyone opened themselves to me. Warts and all.
A lot of the comments will stay in the notebook. It never has been my desire to embarrass someone in print, especially someone so honest that I stop to just put the pencil down …
And listen.
Because, sometimes that’s all people want. They just want to talk.


WTF is goin on? said...

I wouldnt be surprised if the people are just as pleased with your "listening" as with your story in print.
good job!