Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Are You a Man?

I was sitting on the steps of a church the other day.

A mother was standing on the sidewalk below, watching her young daughter, a girl of no more than four years old, running up and down the same concrete steps, about twenty feet from where I was sitting, enjoying my 3:30pm cigarette.

After awhile, the young girl walked over to me slowly. In a cloyingly loud and sing-songy voice, she asked me:

"Are you a ma-an?"

I flicked my cigarette onto the sidewalk, a few feet from where the silent mother stood, and sighed heavily, "I don't know, little girl. Is that your father?"

I got up and left the steps. When I hit the sidewalk, I winked at the mother.

She scowled.