Last night I had a weird experience. I have a neighbor I think of as a leprechaun. He's elderly, about 5 foot 3, and always formally dressed for Florida. (I've never seen him in anything less than a long-sleeved dress shirt, slacks, walking shoes and a belt, even in the heat of summer.) I only see him after dark. He walks alone, pleasantly lost in thought, and I feel I shouldn't disturb him. He seems mysterious to me, in an adorably elfin and non-threatening way. We raise a casual hand and say good evening when our paths cross, now and then.
Last night I was walking Sophie before bed, and I saw the leprechaun. I gave him the usual nod and friendly wave, which is all we've ever exchanged in five years. Our paths crossed again as I headed home, and suddenly, for the first time in 5 years, he said more than hi. He said, "So, it looks like Trump is starting a war." And he paused for my response. And I felt on the spot, because I do live behind the lines here. It's a very right wing neighborhood. So I responded sincerely but without swearing, "It's awful. God help us." And he said he was a veteran and he didn't want to see another war and this is awful, and I told him my late husband was a Vietnam vet, (as I guessed he was, at the other end of that mess). And we had a moment of shared something. I was past my bedtime and wasn't sure how to further this conversation, but it felt significant somehow. I may not see him again for a month, but somehow I feel comforted that he's not Deplorable. Small things. They matter.