Three Stroke Robert

December 12, 2013

Setting: Downtown Fullerton

Event: Waiting for groomsmen to arrive at location for pictures

I’m basically just waiting out of the rain and keenly aware of the cell phone to feel a buzz if and when it does to let me know the guys I’m waiting on have found parking.

Then the scene changes.

Instead it becomes a holy place. That holy place, damp with traffic and mist, is where I would meet Robert.  It would be at most a 5 minute conversation, because I was in a hurry, but thankfully Robert wasn’t.  Walks up to me and pauses, and then without even making eye contact says “eighteen”.  I either had to assume he was talking to me or no one, in either case my senses heightened. “Eighteen,” he repeated with a drawl.  “Eighteen?,” I respond, confused.  “I had three strokes when I was eighteen”.

Robert was hunched over with a cane and the body language of someone who had truly seen the dark corners of life’s dark alleys.  He went on to tell me about how he was born in Scotland and moved here.  I asked if people were good to him, he shrugged, “well enough”. I told him I hoped he stayed warm and that people would treat him well. Asked for a picture and told him he had a fascinating story.