The meeting was almost over when I pulled into the clubhouse parking lot. I stopped, turned off the engine and stayed in my Mescalade.
I watched as the first trickle of folks left the building. Then, I got out of my vehicle and made a bee line to the coffee urn.
He was still seated at the end of the table closest to the refreshment counter. Surrounded by more than a few newcomers, he was gregarious and generous with his opinions.
He offered his hand, the one covered with a black medical brace. I shook it and said, “Good to see ya.”
I poured a cup, grabbed a box of popcorn, walked out the door and took a seat on the front porch.
I placed my coffee and popcorn on the railing next to me. Then I pulled my phone from my pocket.
I was scrolling through my messages when he walked past me. He tapped the deck with his cane.
When I looked up at him, he said, “You’re strange.”
When my eyes went back to the screen, he repeated, “You’re strange. You walk in late. You’ve always got your nose deep into that phone. I can’t figure you out. Can’t figure you out.”
I shrugged and said, “It’s not your job.”
“To figure me out. Not your job.”
He shook his head and scuffled through the gravel to his car.
I was responding to an e-mail when he shouted, “Why are you wasting your life on that goddamn phone?”
I shouted back, “Man, go home and take your medicine. You’ll feel better.”
“You judging me coz I’m using medical marijuana?”
“I don’t care about marijuana.”
“It’s pain management. It works for me.”
“And my phone works for me. The same fuckin’ way. It’s my medicine. My pain management.”
His final words before he crawled into his car were, “Judge not lest ye be judged.”
I stared at my phone another five minutes.
I stood and walked into the clubhouse for another cup of coffee.
When I returned to the porch, he and his car were gone.