Like many quirky urban centers, Harvard Square has its own collection of screwballs, nuts, junkies, hustlers and weirdoes, I wouldn’t feel at home with out such people around me. Today, while walking home from Harvard Square, I had the following conversation:
“Are you totally blind?” I heard in a woman’s voice from over my left shoulder.
Yes.” I mumbled as she pulled in and walked beside X-Celerator.
“That’s amazing!” she said a little too jovially.
“Uh huh,” I muttered.
“How long have you been blind?”
“Totally? About fifteen years,” I replied, “How long has it been since your last ECT appointment?” I asked as, indeed, she seemed highly qualified for shock treatments.
“What?” She asked.
“Oh, sorry, I must have been mistaken,” I muttered, wishing she had picked up on my rebuff regarding her mental health but not at all in the mood to suggest that I thought she probably was batshit crazy.
“You’ve got a great dog,” she continued.
“Yeah, I know,” I said.
“You know, the Bible teaches us that dogs help bring us to God,” she stated with a tone of authority.
“Don’t you read the Bible?”
I tried to Think quickly of the most obscure religion I could muster , I replied, “No, I’m a Zoroastrian.”
“It’s an ancient Persian religion, there aren’t too many of us left. You should look it up in the library.”
“What’s your name,” asked the nut who wouldn’t go away.
“I’m Reggie, good to meet you.”
“Likewise,” I added with as little enthusiasm as possible.
“Chris, do you know I am psychic?”
“If you’re psychic, why did you need to ask my name?
“I didn’t want to invade your privacy,” she stated with certainty. “I think most blind people are psychic too.”
“She didn’t want to invade my privacy but felt entirely comfortable walking up to a complete stranger on the street and asking about his disability. This one is a true winner,” I thought. Shit, if all of us blinks were psychic, I’d have moved to Vegas and become a professional poker player years ago.
“I’m sure you are psychic,” she continued.
“Well, it’s been nice chatting with you,” said Reggie, “I’m off,” she said and then was gone.
The only useful thing this particular person said that made sense was her final words, “I’m off.” No shit, she was off, way off.