Heart Transplants, Cigars and Jack Reacher

I was smoking a cigar on my balcony while reading the latest Lee Child Reacher book, both guilty pleasures. Neighbors are starting to arrive home. This guy, presumably a neighbor, gets out of a full sized white Ford pickup with a sticker on the tailgate that says, “John 3:16.” I don’t think much about it.

Minutes later, the same guy walks outside, taking out the trash. He spots me on the balcony and stares at me. I, in a reasonably friendly voice, say, “How’s it going?” – mainly to let him know that I’m not on display and if he wants to stare at me, he needs to know I’ll engage him in conversation. Nothing malicious, but I, like most people, don’t like being stared at.

He inquires, “Enjoying a fine cigar?”

I say, “Cuesta del Ray, not bad…”

He says, “I used to love smoking cigars, but I had to give them up because I’m waiting for a heart transplant.”

He looks to be about in his 30s. Not fat, not thin. Seems pretty affable. Got a bigger smile on his face than I do when I take out the trash.

I say, “Seems to be a good enough reason to give up smoking I guess.”

He says, “The doctors asked me, when I was signing up for the transplant, ’do you smoke?’ I said, no – and that’s when I quit cigars. When I get the transplant though, I’m going to start again.” With a kind of insider ‘wink and a nod’ he says, “Make sure you don’t tell anyone.”

I say, “Your secret is safe with me. – Hope that works out for you.”

This conversation all took place, as described, in about 30 seconds or less.

Today I witnessed and accident on the way to work and, if not for anti-lock brakes on my car, would have been the victim of an accident on the way home when a bus cut off about three cars – one of which decided to find immediate refuge in my lane.

This was sandwiched by a day at work that I could only describe as bizarre.

Some days you can’t wait to wake up, other days you can’t wait to go to bed.  I don’t know what to do with today, except for believe that days like this don’t happen very often.