Where I stopped for some late heart-arresting fare. It was about 11 pm.
He was sitting alone in the corner. He appeared to be in his mid-sixties, was wearing a few layers of clothes that weren't filthy, but were obviously worn. He also had a bright yellow knit hat that he kept pulling on and taking off every few minutes. He hadn't bought much food, but he did keep getting up to refill his soda. When he did, it was with difficulty as he had an obvious motor disability.
He was just the sort that 'normal' people revile and avoid.
But there was something to this fellow. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I've always been pretty good at recognizing 'special' in people.
So when he got up and lingered in front of the TV to catch a clip on CNN, I got up, walked over to the TV, and said: "So, how do you think the humans are going to wind up?"
He looked at me and smiled. "Well, the humanoids are in big trouble, but they're going to be okay.". He also seemed to have trouble speaking, but I could understand him well enough.
"Really?", I asked feeling like I was participating in a non-terrestrial commentary on a planetary drama.
"Yes, they've tried to wreck things, but I've watched, and they'll make it. Getting rid of all the fear and hate is the hard part, and there is a lot of it right now, but it will eventually happen."
"I figure we'll have about 4 decades of very rough times, but I agree they'll pull through. I figured you'd know something about it."
He smiled and nodded, and we sat back down.
A few minutes later, as we were leaving, he came to me and said, "I really enjoyed my stay here and our breif conversation. You leave me intrigued, challenged, and edified."
"Thank you, so did I. Spirits be with you.", I said, and we went on our ways.
It wasn't a deep conversation, but it was apparent that no one had treated him as an equal in some time. He was genuinely pleased that I spoke to him. I have little doubt he has insights and wisdom that most 'normal' people never will.
When we look around, we judge others based on the most superficial criteria. The truth is that treasure lies inside so many people we might otherwise dismiss. Sometimes the exercise of reaching out to find it is well worth the effort.