People: Robert Snowbear

I went to a pow wow and was perusing the booths, looking at hats, food and jewelry.

I came across this one booth where a tall, white-haired man sat. He sold chokers made of bone and stones and we started talking.

He told me about his life. About Mabel, his live-in girlfriend who was not his girlfriend, who had tattoos and who he first met while she danced on a table in a bar.

He talked to me about the accident which gave him his prosthetic leg. A motorcycle accident where the chain snapped in two and sliced right through his calf.

“The pain isn’t as intolerable as the sense that I don’t feel whole,” he said.

He seemed lonely, like he wished he could talk to someone who’s known him for years.

I got the feeling that he doesn’t know anyone like that anymore.

It was a tough thing to say about yourself and he left a lot more between the lines. After a while, nature was calling and he asked me to watch the booth.

Out of respect, I didn’t watch him as he used his cane to walk.

He came back and as a reward, he gave me one of the chokers he was selling.

He then asked if I would consent in having a cup of coffee with him, no strings attached.

I smiled politely and said no.

Years have passed and I still have that choker he gave me.

From time to time, I think back to that moment and wonder what happened to Snowbear. In the words of Billy Joel, I wonder what happened to that man who wanted to share in a cup of loneliness which was better than drinking alone. That man, who from one day to the next, became an old man.


DISCLAIMER: Seeing as that I am without a laptop for at least the next couple of days, I won’t be able to post anything. I will, of course, make it up to you with double posts this next week. Have a good weekend.


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