Stranger: Do you live in the building?
Me: Yes, do you?
Stranger: No, my kids do. I’m visiting them.
Stranger: they’re the half Asian, half black kids?
(He is African American and the kids are half of him and her, so I notice those kids all the time. Since I have biracial kids, I find biracial people fascinating and I probably stare too long. And more on him, he’s not a large man and has a beard that has become one skinny dread lock. He has head phones on and is bopping to music during the elevator ride.)
Me: Yes, the three boys? They seem like good kids. I always see them doing laundry. Could they teach my kids?
Stranger: You know how the mom has cancer.
Me: Yes (I noticed her losing weight with a shaved head, so I guessed, but didn’t feel like lying just then.)
Stranger: She died today.
Me: Oh no.
Stranger: I have to go tell them now.
(His floor comes up, so he starts to leave the elevator).
Me: Oh, good luck, I’m sorry.
I feel terrible and have no where to put those feeling since I was about to take care of the kids. Then I realized, what the heck am I moaning about? i’m not the little boys who had to hear the bad news and live it. I called another neighbor who said they like candy and mac and cheese. Going to get some candy tomorrow, because I didn’t offer to help like a dummy.