There’s man I have seen on my afternoon walks, going back a couple of years now. He’s bald, roughly my age, my build, and walks a smaller size black lab mix. He uses a generic leash/harness on the dog.
Each time I see him, I either nod or say hello. For a couple of years now, the man has stomped passed me immersed in his rhythm, eyes on the ground, and never said hello back, nor even made eye contact with me – not once.
Still, I nod or speak to him every time we cross paths, despite that I have labeled him as a complete dick, for his absence of acknowledgement. Compete. Dick.
I’ve never understood this; the people who walk about their community and won’t acknowledge others from within that community.
I get it, we all want down time. Turn the noise off. Tune out. That’s part of why I walk. But how hard is it to say hello to a neighbor…?
Harder than I might have imagined, I have learned.
Yesterday, I saw the same man with his black dog, not on the trail, but in a local grocery store with his dog beside him. This time though, the dog was a long harness that ran the length of his back. On each side of the harness, in bold white letters it read…
PTSD SERVICE ANIMAL
Who’s the dick now…?
I have no idea what the man’s PTSD arose from. I live in a very military community though, and have known multiple PTSD victims, and even worked with a few in my studio.
This is not the only person I see who never makes eye contact or takes time to say hello. I will try harder now to engage – to smile and sound sincere when I pass people like this. They may need that to be alone, but they may also need a little faith in fellow hominids… Jhciacb
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