August 8th, 2007

More urban weirdness

I know nick_kaufmann recently reported on an encounter with a stranger in the vestibule of his New York apartment. Here's my Los Angeles equivalent:

As I was leaving my upstairs apartment this afternoon, I stepped out and saw a very old man, at least 70, at the bottom of my steps. He was neatly dressed but slumped over, and was clutching a huge unopened food can of some kind in one hand. He had evidently just knocked on my downstairs neighbor's door, since I heard the neighbor say, "Something I can help you with?"

The old man said, "You got any paper?"

"Paper?" asked the neighbor.

"You got any paper?" repeated the old man.

The neighbor had lost patience. "No, we don't have any paper. In fact, there's no paper in the whole apartment building!"

"Okay," mumbled the old man, who turned around and shambled off.

I walked by him to get to my car, and although I was prepared for a major assault on my olfactory senses, the old guy was odor-free. I passed him on the street a few minutes later. He was walking very slowly, literally placing the heel of one foot to the toes of the other with each step.

There's a nursing home several blocks away, and I think the old duffer may have made his escape. Thank goodness he thought to bring food with him! Wonder what the paper was for, anyway...

Maybe he was a writer.