You guys. It has been two whole days since the thing I’m about to tell you has happened but I still have not calmed down. I wanted to write about it that very same day but I couldn’t sit still long enough!!
OK, OK, remember how to tell a story, Erin. Back up. Start at the beginning. Give the people some background. If you are a long time reader, you might remember me mentioning from time to time an older gentleman in my neighborhood with a proclivity toward public profanity. In the past, I have (cruelly, I know) referred to him as Tourette’s but in my older years, trying to be the best version of myself, I have been trying to refer to him as Angry Guy but…you know, old habits. So if you happen to go back and read any of my older posts about him just remember me: I KNOW I’M AN ASSHOLE AND I AM TRYING TO BE BEST (lol).
I see this dude everywhere in Brookline and I even know where he lives because I was on a walk one time and saw him up ahead and took a detour just so I could follow him. Hey, I had nothing else going on that day! Or…any day. Ever.
Sometimes he’s in a fine mood, like when I saw him while I was standing outside of CVS and we had a discussion about FACE MASKS. Sometimes he is…not in such a fine mood, like several weeks ago when he walked by my house yelling at someone (or no one) on the phone:
The best part of this was when I originally went to start recording, he was still walking toward my house and MY FUCKING FLASH CAME ON. Henry was like, “Oh my god” and slithered further into the house, lol.
One time, he appeared on the scene of a hit & run that happened in front of my house and it was honestly the most exciting part of the whole incident for me.
Let’s just say that this guy has been a big enough part of my life that when I say to my friends, “Hey, you know that one guy…” and they are like, “Yes, the one who you videotaped wrestling with a lawnmower that one time?” And I am like, “Yes, him.”
So, now the story can begin for real.
It was Wednesday morning, still pretty early, like around 6:30AM. I had to walk to the post office on Brookline Blvd to drop off some Etsy stuff. I was really pissed off about it too because Henry was supposed to take it and mail it, but WHATEVER. I was about a block away from my house on my return walk, still steaming and fuming over Henry’s laziness, when I noticed that several cars had stopped, including a small school bus. That’s when I realized that there was a man in the middle of the road, just standing there.
IT WAS HIM. THE GUY.
I started to walk faster because I needed to be a part of this action, and how. By the time I arrived on the scene, the school bus driver had gotten out and was leading THE GUY back to the sidewalk. He kept saying he was fine and she was like “Ok but you can’t stand in the road, someone will hit you” (it was still dark out!) and he was like, “I just need to get to Dormont.” She said asked if he needed a ride and after he said yes, she goes, “I can’t drive you, sir, I have kids on the bus.”
WELL, WHY DID YOU ASK THEN?
SO I SAID: “I can drive you! My car is parked just a block away.” I’m like, panting as I’m saying this, so excited to make additional contact with THIS FAMOUS GUY.
He said, “Oh really young lady, thank you! I just need to go to Eat n Park” and in my head, I’m like, “Yeah I know” because sometimes on my morning walks, I see him sitting in Eat n Park with OTHER (PROBABLY) WEIRD PEOPLE!! So I know that when I see him walking by my house in the mornings, that is where he’s going. ONE TIME CHOOCH AND I WERE THERE AT THE SAME TIME AS HIM! And it was like a week after Chooch rode past him on his bike, and the guy got scared, jumped dramatically and screamed, “YOU CRAZY GUY, WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU!” and Chooch was so excited to have gotten yelled at by him. (It’s a Brookline thing.)
So the bus driver and I got him to stand safely on the corner and I ran, and I mean I RAN, all the way down the block to get my car, and the whole time I’m going “OMG OMG OMG.” And the sitch was still fresh enough that a bit of traffic had built up so people in their cars were watching and I was like “YES! LOOK AT ME! NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES, BUT SUPER ADORABLE FLUFFY BLUE COATS!” and I could feel their eyes on me, wondering what the root of the conflict was but knowing without a shadow of a doubt that THIS YOUNG LADY was the literal LIFE SAVER!
AND THEN HE WAS IN MY CAR!!!!!!!!!!!! (Well, not right away. First, I pulled up to the curb and rolled down the window and said, “OK here I am!” and he just stood there, and now cars were getting angry and having to pass me, and he’s still looking at me like, “WHY ARE YOU STOPPED HERE” and I’m like, “Are you ready?” and he’s like, “OH, ARE YOU THE GIRL” and four years of being called THE GIRL at dreaded Weiss Meats poured over my head like a bucket of icy PTSD, but that’s neither here nor there.)
HIS NAME IS DAVID!!!!!!!
While I was navigating the back streets of Brookline to get back onto the main drag, we made casual small talk about the weather. I told him I had almost slipped on ice on my way to the post office. “DID YOU?” he gasped, and he seemed genuinely very concerned about this. He thanked me again for doing this and I brushed it off. “It’s no problem, I only live right there across the church so I’m not going out of my way,” and then I said to him, casually, “Say*, I think you used to live a few houses up from me, didn’t you?” because he totally lived next door to Hot Naybor Chris a long time ago, and he said, “No. Never. I never lived on Pioneer.” Wow, OK, DAVID.
*(Also, LOL I have never started a sentence that way in real life and wanted to see how it felt to act as though I did. It felt a little like Leave It To Beaver.)
Anyway, it literally only took me like 2 minutes to get him to Eat n Park and when he was getting out of my car, he said, “Thank you again, young lady. I hope you become a millionaire someday.”
And the fact that he kept calling me Young Lady made me start imagining him as the white rabbit AND I AM ALICE.
OK IS THIS WEIRD? THIS IS WEIRD. EVEN FOR ME. Not the mood I was going for.
We’ll go with this one. (You guys, I think this image is from ALAMY.)
(ALSO THIS WAS THE BEST VERSION OF ALICE & WONDERLAND, FIGHT ME. I was obsessed with Carol Channing.)
I kept trying to call Henry right after and he wasn’t answering so I was texting him 911 and when he finally called back, I blurted out: YOU WILL NEVER GUESS WHO WAS IN OUR CAR and he was like “are you effing kidding, this was the emergency?”
I’d like to point out that Henry and Chooch both had a first guess of “Buddy” (the squirrel), which speaks volumes to how rich my life has been lately.
Well, that’s my story about how I got to be a hero for once, suck it, Henry. Sorry it was so harried, I have residual adrenaline and needed to just type it out without any care or thought. Oh wait, that’s my procedure for ALL blog posts.
(On a serious note though: he did seem coherent like he knew his name & was able to talk normally, and I kept asking him if he was OK. He said yes, so I’m hoping that maybe he just needed to get some food, and because I’m a creep, I know that other people would be joining him so if he needed medical attention, they would be able to do something?? But I have seen him since and he seems fine!)
(On another serious note, I hope this hasn’t reignited my penchant for picking up hitchhikers. Probably not. At least not until we’re on the other side of this pandemic.)