7ms Transcript: Episode 51 - Barnes & Noble: A Love Story

7 Minute Stories by Aaron Calafato

Episode 51 - Barnes & Noble: A Love Story

CORI INTRO

You're listening to seven minute stories with Aaron Calafato , this episode: Jump on the roof!

 AARON CALAFATO - STORY

Why is it that the spaces we spend time in means so much to us?.

And why are they so prevalent in our minds? There is a deep association between the place where in and the occasion, or the relationship and their symbiotic to a certain degree. And I think I found at least part of an answer that makes sense to me. And I want to tell you that at the end of the story. But first, I want to tell you about how I ended up in this Barnes and Noble to begin with. First of all my hipster friends, I know there's bookstores out there where you can go there that are local shops and I've been to them and there's some really nice ones but, in mass, when you're traveling around a large geographical area it's not as easy to get to some of those and at least where I lived and where Cori and I were meeting when we first started dating, we had to find places of convenience because we had limited time with each other. And we wanted to spend, and I can just say for me, I wanted to spend a ton of time with her.

I wanted to spend every hour with her but I couldn't really tell her that because I had to play it cool. I was trying to, you know, follow these social norms and say you know Yeah I'll call you in a couple of days, but inside,  I was... yearning for the lack of a better word. To just see her and be with her because once it's a right match. And once I felt that. I just wanted to pick her brain and hear her ideas and just being around her made me feel right... So we both had to be patient.

When we first started dating and we had kids we didn't want to rush our kids into this relationship and force them to meet each other, so we took our time. And we were always looking for places where we could spend a lot of time and talk. And restaurants are cool but they're trying to turn tables so you can't spend all the time in the world there. And movies are nice when you want to see a movie but not a lot of room for conversation. So one night we're driving along this road and we're just looking for something to do and we both looked up and we're almost blinded by the neon white lights of the Barnes and Noble store that we were passing and we both knew it...

We had to go inside. So I pulled the car in the parking lot and it was almost like it was fate. We didn't even say anything. I just opened the door and we held hands and we walked inside ....And our senses were assaulted in the best possible way. There is a unique smell and a sound to a Barnes and Noble. There's the smell of the coffee coming from the coffee shop mixing with the smell of the new books. People leafing through pages shuffling in and out between the bookshelves. People going up and down the escalator. And the escalator almost serves as a conductor going click clack clack clack back and forth almost like a soft subway directing the ambiance of the entire establishment.

And then you hear conversations. People are having great talks and laughing but in a modest and thoughtful way, I mean, don't get me wrong I love the library. But in a library you gotta read.  You're doing research you got to be in it. Otherwise, people come up as say shhhh,  and I've been one of those people to say shhhsss,  but nobody in the barn and Barnes and Noble is going to come up to you and say shhhssss!  because it's a Barnes Noble. If they do that you just say: "Hey got a proble?" and they go "maybe!" and you go "Okay let's go outside...".

So that just doesn't happen there. So it was a perfect environment for us. And Cori and I just go to every section that we can of this Barnes and Noble and just start reading and talking about different books that we love. Different books that we've read. Books that we want to read and we haven't read and then kind of going oh my gosh you haven't read that!. And then we start reading passages back and forth. It was like, it was like an exchange of ideas, a call and response, where I would find a book and a section that really compelled me and meant something to me and I would share it with her and read it to her and see how it landed.

And just watching her. And seeing how she reacted to that was so beautiful. And she would do the same thing she would read me things from books that she loved and found meaning in and I learned so much about her because of that.

And we did this for hours and then we made our way through the Romance Section.... with the romance novels and I mean this in the best possible way because we, we would laugh and joke. I would open up a romance novel and in a really corny voice sort of narrate where it's like. And "then Rusty the cowboy walks upstairs and he's looking for his long lost love and the door is locked and he takes a hammer and he smashes it and he says: baby you gotta be mine" or something ridiculous and we're just cracking up at this and just being the stupidest silliest people in the entire store.

And then things get a little bit more serious because we go to the poetry section. Then I start pulling out the romance card, not in the weird intentional way, but really I start reading some of my favorite poets and she's reading some of hers and I'm finding different sections and poetry that not only speak to me, but speak to me in a way that reflect how I feel for her in that very moment. And I just start reading her this poetry, not ridiculously or loud, but just intimately to her and I don't care. There are people passing by and kind of looking and going what's going on.

Doesn't matter, because it's all fog around her. And it's just me and her. Delivering poetry to one another.  It felt like we were doing something right. And as we walked out that evening we both looked up at the white neon sign and she said something to me that just took me aback. She said "you know I didn't want to tell you this before we walked in. But right when we started dating I had a dream that if we were meant to be together that we would end up at this Barnes and Noble". I said "Are you serious?" She goes yes "and then so when we drove by and you said let's go inside. It was like my heart melted." I was like "I had no idea.

I'm so glad that I like lived up to the dream version of me."

And she was happy and we were both like completely blown out of our minds because here we were in this almost storybook moment in front of a bookstore and it just reminds me of what I was going to tell you at the beginning of this story. Which is, the reason why we care so much about this place, at this Barnes Noble, or you care about the place that that you care about with the ones you love has nothing to do really with the place. The place is just a facade. It's just a structur. It's just an edifice. It has inanimate objects inside. It's what you make of that place. And in fact the exchange and the connection you have with the human being inside of that place is uniquely yours and no one else's......

And that is beautiful because it belongs to you. And so, every once in a while, as the years have passed Cori and I always go back and have date nights where we return back to that Barnes and Noble because it's where we're supposed to be. And when we walk through the doors we know every single time, we're in fact, turning another page in the story of our lives together.

CORI OUTRO

I hope you enjoyed the episode. A lot of people have been coming up to Aaron and I at parties sending emails and calling to tell us how much they loved the podcast and ask when the next episodes coming out. A great way to stay connected is to visit the Website 7minutestoriespod.com  - You can also subscribe on Apple podcasts. And while you're there. Let more people know what you think about Aaron and his storytelling by rating and leaving a review.

Lastly the biggest compliment you can give us is to share your favorite episode with friends on social media. Thanks again for listening!

 

7ms Transcript: Episode 49 - Jump on the roof!

7 Minute Stories by Aaron Calafato

Episode 49 - Jump on the roof!

CORI INTRO

You're listening to seven minute stories with Aaron Calafato , this episode: Jump on the roof!

 AARON CALAFATO - STORY

It was my first day on the job site and I was scared because I didn't want to screw up.

You see, I had gotten this job through a family friend who knew a contractor. It was the summer of my 11th grade year and the deal was that this contractor was gonna drop me off five days a week during the summer to different roofing sites and construction sites and all I had to do was be a grunt. Be the lowest on the totem pole. I would carry scrap metal, wood, carry tools run errands take stuff to the dumpster do all the dirty work that no one wanted to do but that would help make the job easier for the workers.

The morning of my first job it was six thirty a.m. and the contractor drops me off I get out of the passenger side of the Ford pickup truck and here I am and this roofing site. And I knew it was gonna be a hot day because even at six thirty a.m. , The sun was just beating down and I stuck out like a sore thumb. I didn't have the right attire,I had nice jeans and actually like a button up short sleeved shirt and sneakers, I apparently didn't get the memo, but when I looked around I saw there is about four to eight guys milling around this house. Some half way up on ladders some on the roof some on the ground moving around tools none of them had shirts on they all had bandannas and they weren't exactly welcoming. I mean I knew I was a stranger they knew I didn't really belong there. And so I stood there like an idiot with no instructions and not knowing what to do.

But that's when Ernie introduced himself. Ernie stood on top of that roof like a Greek God. He was tall and strong and confident. Blue work jeans no shirt brown work shoes a trucker's cap, long stringy hair, he had crystal blue eyes and he had a smile that was really kind. He was missing the top four front teeth, so when he smiled his lip would go underneath his gum...and his skin the only way I can describe it is: like Hulk Hogan. So sun baked that it was like leather but when he looked down at me I knew that he was the one running this job site and he had one of the most interesting speech impediments I can just never forget. He at Aaaawween, you know what you're doing around here? I said No Ernie, I don't.

He said here's what you gonna do. You want to take them shingles you going to put them over your shoulder you want to carry em over to the whift and a wift is gonna take him up to the woof. And I said that it? and then the lifts gonna do the rest of the work? He said: "Yeah but you're going to be carrying them shingles over your shoulder it's gonna be a lot of time we gonna get to through those shingles like bread and butter. And so I did what Ernie said and he was cool he was kind for giving me direction and not make me look like an asshole and so I was grateful to him. And so I did what he said. I'm carrying these heavy shingles or putting them on the lift and they take him up to the roof and the guys are just hammering him in.

They're going through so quickly that I'm having a hard time keeping up but I think I do just fine, until the lift breaks. And I called up to Ernie I said: "maybe I should go home since the lift is broken" and Ernie told me that I couldn't. The boss said the job needed to be done by the end of the day and I had to manually climb up the roof with the shingles over my shoulder and I did that and I'm sweating sweating and feel like I'm on a pass out but I get to the top of the ladder and it's creaking and I'm really afraid of heights and I kind of body slammed these shingles on the top of the roof and Ernie can tell I was really scared and he looked at me and he goes "Aaawwen you scared of this woof? and I didn’t say anything.

He said “come on now and get up on this woof. Get up on the woof!” So I slowly... my knees are shaking. I kind of get up on the roof and it's not natural it's like a sharp incline. Ernie's standing on it like it's just every day. And I'm standing on it like I'm gonna fall to my death and he goes: "Aaawen you gotta own this Woof. Don't be afraid. Here's how you do it: Just gotta jump on the woof." I said what? He said "jump on the woof, jump on the woof." And Ernie starts jumping and Ernie literally starts jumping. It looked like two to three feet in the air. He had the agility of a panther. He's jumping up and landing on his feet and he tells me: "Aaawen jump jump on that woof", and my jump, I'm jumping up it's like 30 centimeters. He goes "Come on Aawen and jump on da Woof.

Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid Aawen jump on the woof." And he's kind of coaching me and I'm getting my confidence up and I'm starting to jump and I'm starting to jump.

Now I'm jumping and I'm like "Ernie, I'm jumping on the roof." He's like "Aawwen you're jumping on that woof. I'm like "I'm jumping Ernie. I'm jumping, I'm jumping on the roof! He says "AAAWEEN! jump on the roof!" and there is me and Ernie lunchtime is about to hit.

And here we are jumping up on top of this roof. And I have all the confidence in the world and that fear went away. I was so confident that he invited me to eat lunch with him in the middle of the roof. Apparently he didn't get enough sun. So there I am sitting with Ernie, we're having our lunch and he's got a T-shirt over his head I get a T-shirt of my head and we're just kind of sitting there with this vantage point over the neighborhood. The roof is almost done and we're just looking around and eating our sandwiches then Ernie turned to me and he said: "Aawen are you going to school?"

I said Yep. He said "You going to cowege? I said Yep. He said "Good. Don't be wike me" and then he told me that he wanted to be an architect when he was growing up. But his dad hit him, not just a little bit, but a lot. And he let that get the best of him. And so after several bad choices and a couple of stints in prison he decided to go into roofing because that was the closest he could get to becoming an architect...putting shingles on the roof.

And so the day ended, I said goodbye to my new friend and I went into a long weekend. I slept for what felt like 100 hours. That following Monday, on the way to the job site, I was asking the contractor when I should check in with Ernie. I was excited to see him. The contractor looked at me and he said "you've seen Ernie?" I said No not since last week. He goes, "well no one has seen Ernie since last week." He said "the last we heard Ernie stole a van from the construction site and stole a bunch of copper and metal and drove down to central Ohio where he pawed it for drug money.

And he checked himself into a cheap motel and put a needle in his arm. And we don't know if he's dead or alive."........ I never saw Ernie again but here's what I can tell you. There was kindness in that man. The other thing I can tell you, is that ever since that summer if you ask me to get up on a roof. That I'm not afraid anymore.

CORI OUTRO

I hope you enjoyed the episode. A lot of people have been coming up to Aaron and I at parties sending emails and calling to tell us how much they loved the podcast and ask when the next episodes coming out. A great way to stay connected is to visit the Website 7minutestoriespod.com  - You can also subscribe on Apple podcasts. And while you're there. Let more people know what you think about Aaron and his storytelling by rating and leaving a review.

Lastly the biggest compliment you can give us is to share your favorite episode with friends on social media. Thanks again for listening!

 

7ms Transcript: Episode 48 - Me, Paul Harvey and the Farmer

7 Minute Stories by Aaron Calafato

Episode 48 - Me, Paul Harvey and the Farmer

CORI INTRO

You're listening to seven minute stories with Aaron Calafato this episode: Me, Paul Harvey and the farmer.

 AARON CALAFATO - STORY

It's been a really tough couple of weeks in America, and I am one of the lucky ones and so are you if you're listening to this. And I don't know about you but I've been trying to figure out how to navigate this. You know? How to find direction in a world that seems very turbulent and very unclear. As a parent, how do you shield your kids and protect them and teach them at the same time. Every other word you hear is I can't believe we live in this world I can't believe it's come to this. Social media is a cesspool. The news cycle is a cesspool. And I mean that in the sense that these are not places to really find reflection.

These are not places to really have discourse and to communicate with people or to air your differences in comment threads. That's just not the space. And I've learned that the hard way, so, years ago I decided when it comes to real stuff, real reflection, I'm gonna get out of the cloud and I'm going to get into life. And I think about how our ancestors got through some of the most turbulent times, the most horrific times in human history. The thing that human beings have used, for all of human history, as an anchor to figure out a direction to overcome... is story. It's story. its myth. its fable. It's as simple and can be as simple as a nighttime story that you tell your child. Or in an Aesop fable that you learn growing up. And the reason why these things endure and that I know that that they're so important is that they're not held hostage by the contemporary moment...

They're not held hostage by a political persuasion or an issue or geography or a monarchy or a political system or an economic system. They.. Stories right? Myth. Fables... transcend all of that.

That's why a person in Germany and Japan and America and South America at all different times on Earth can hear one singular story and understand its moral truth. Understand the meaning of it. Get reflection from it. Because it's the human language. And so even in times like this for myself I'm like: you know what? I gotta to dive back into story to figure out a direction to get through this tough time. That's where I get my sustenance. And so the other day I got in the car and I decided I was going to turn on the AM radio to see if any sort of story, not news, you know... but just something would pop up and I put it on auto scan and I took a drive 20 minutes south into rural America into the countryside. And it always brings me calm, and the highway turned into you know a state road in the state road turned into a country road and the country road turned dirt road ....and I kept driving and driving out into the fields now ....and the wind is just orchestrating them, it's a summer's night it's beautiful, the sky is burnt orange... I open the windows and the wind comes in I take a breath and I look out.  And the fireflies are starting to come up and communicate with each other with light. And the rolling hills and the wind is orchestrating the trees... and out in the distance on one of these rolling hills I see a farmhouse, a white farmhouse, and I pull up respectably close on the dirt road and I pull over and put my hazards on.

I just look and I see these two farmers out on tractors and one guy has two horses and he's plowing the field, right in front of me, and I'm watching these guys and I look out at the at the white farmhouse and I see some of their families sitting on the swing and swinging back and forth watching them as they try to get work in before the day ends. And just at that moment on the AM radio a speech by the great Paul Harvey comes on called: So God Made a Farmer right at that moment... and so I'm looking out at this scene and this speech comes up and I'm going to recite it for you at the end of the seven minute stories and I'm not going to sound like Paul Harvey but maybe this speech will speak to you in the way that it spoke to me. That if we want to bear fruit in this beautiful society of ours we have to approach it with the grace, the humility, the strength and the compassion, and the hard work of a farmer….

RECITES PAUL HARVEY”S SPEECH

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said I need a caretaker. So God made a farmer. God said I need somebody willing to get up before dawn. Milk cows work all day in the fields milk cows again eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board. So God made a farmer.

I need somebody was arms strong enough to rustle a calf. And yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs and tame cantankerous machinery come home hungry have to wait lunch until his wife is done feeding visiting ladies and then tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon and mean it! So God Made a Farmer.

God said I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say: maybe next year. I need somebody who can shape an axe handle for a persimmon sprout. Shoe a horse with a hunk a car tire, who can make a harness out a Haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps and who planting time and harvest season will finish his 40 hour week by Tuesday noon, then, painin from tractor back..put in another seventy two hours. So God Made a Farmer.

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay and ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in midfield and raced to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So God Made a Farmer.

God said I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pellets who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken wing of a meadowlark. It had to be somebody who had plowed deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week's work with a five mile drive to church. Somebody who'd bail a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing. And who would laugh and then sigh.

And then reply with smiling eyes. When his son says he wants to spend his life doing what dad does.

So God made a farmer.

CORI OUTRO

I hope you enjoyed the episode. A lot of people have been coming up to Aaron and I at parties sending emails and calling to tell us how much they loved the podcast and ask when the next episodes coming out. A great way to stay connected is to visit the Web site seven minute Stories pod.com  - You can also subscribe on Apple podcasts. And while you're there. Let more people know what you think about Aaron and his storytelling by rating and leaving a review.

Lastly the biggest compliment you can give us is to share your favorite episode with friends on social media. Thanks again for listening!

 

7ms Transcript: Episode 47 - That's not my friend anymore

7 Minute Stories by Aaron Calafato

Episode 47 - That’s not my friend anymore

CORI INTRO

You're listening to seven minute stories with Aaron Calafato. This episode:  That's not my friend anymore.

 AARON CALAFATO - STORY

A colleague of mine had just passed away and he had been fighting for a really long time, like 20 something years and he finally his body gave way.

And he passed and I was at his funeral.

And the hardest part for me is always, first seeing the family and seeing the memories and seeing all the people that he or she affected, whenever I've gone, as I've gotten older and you know going more and more of these.And it's seeing that. But the weirdest part is always walking up to the casket. And it used to be for different reasons. I remember when I was younger I was just scared because I didn't want to see them and I wasn't sure what that was like. They weren't there. Now I'm not even scared anymore. I'm not scared. It just feels awkward because, not just with my friend and in this moment I was looking at him but anytime I've walked up to that casket and looked down I'm looking at them and I'm saying to myself...that's not you.

It looks like you physically, but there's an absence. And obviously, yeah they they're dead, but it's not just that it's literally in an extraction of the life. The thing that came through that person and it's almost like, it's weird it's,  what is left behind seems empty. When I'm looking at it seems empty. For me that's where the loss comes from, not the fact that they're not opening their eyes is that something is gone, completely gone, and it's that realization of like where did they go? and then there's this other part of me that that relies on the physical. The physical manifestation of who they were like what they looked like how how my friend smiled how he stood a particular way, the little the gestures that he makes and the gestures that you know what I'm talking about, someone that you care about, bet your thinking right now,  just someone that you know, even the ones that are alive, you just when you think of them if you really think about it in your brain it'll it'll start going through its files and your brain liked it and it just pulls up a picture usually pulls up a picture, sometimes a feeling, but sometimes a picture. But for me the physical part of who we are is really just a road sign to what we are before the body. Before we're manifest 

So this is getting really fuckin metaphysical. Let me just break this down to me and I'm a scientist. I'm just to do telling stories. But for me when I observe people it's kind of like the body and how it creates gestures is a product of its environment and a product of ingenuity in wanting to be something or to physically be something. The way a person walks the way a person smiles, the way a person....It seems like it's a mixture of all these things, it's like a mixture of mimicry from when you're a kid looking at the faces around you. It's a mixture of your own impulses experimenting and then it's a mixture of the environment that you came from 

How is your environment? If it's loving and inclusive and open you tend to see these bodies be much more open and loving and inclusive physically they're gesturing is that way. When you come from an environment that's harsh that's intense that's oppressive.

Your body will look that way. I'm not talking with the physical nature that just the standstill pigment of how people look. We're not talking about skin. We're not talking about even bones. I'm talking about, almost like being an artist, the way their body moves that's always been fascinating to me.

And where does that come from?

Where does it come from it's so weird. To me, the only thing there's a lot of different analogies but when I'm thinking about it it's kind of like being a painter and having a canvas and having paints and you know you want to make a splatter of paint with a particular color on the canvas, but you got to visualize it first. So, it has to not be the thing first, before it becomes the thing. So you have to visualize: I'm going to do this and that's to me almost like consciousness ...like the first part of the explosion of experimentation of consciousness.

 I gonna try this. Where does that come from? I don't know.. But I know that before the brush stroke or the splatters on the paint canvas becomes something, it's like you've got to think about it first, what it is came from something that is not physical it's metaphysical. It's something that's just in your consciousness. You think of it, and it might take its form and its shape, but it's expressing itself out of something that wasn't there. It's fucking insane! I'm like recording, this is insane! You have to understand as I'm talking to you but there's no one in front of me and I'm just going on and ruminating about all of this stuff...and it all comes back to these thoughts that come from standing in front of my friend when he's lying in his coffin and realizing that's not my friend anymore... Almost like this funeral... that something has to be destroyed before it's created.

 

 And and it's almost like this cycle: birth life death. Birth life death. Birth life death. Birth life death. The seasons.. The solar system round and round and round and round and round.. expanding and everything around us the physics, everything seems to cycle in and out. Galaxies collide. Galaxies are destroyed. Stars are born. Stars die. And it's why not with us?...why not with us?

CORI OUTRO

I hope you enjoyed the episode. A lot of people have been coming up to Aaron and I at parties sending emails and calling to tell us how much they loved the podcast and ask when the next episodes coming out. A great way to stay connected is to visit the Web site seven minute Stories pod.com  - You can also subscribe on Apple podcasts. And while you're there. Let more people know what you think about Aaron and his storytelling by rating and leaving a review.

Lastly the biggest compliment you can give us is to share your favorite episode with friends on social media. Thanks again for listening!

 

7ms Transcript: Episode 46 - Remember his face

7 Minute Stories by Aaron Calafato

Episode 46 - Remember his face

Intro- Cori Birce

You're listening to seven minute stories with Aaron Calafato. This episode: Remember his face.

Story – Aaron Calafato

I was downtown and I was getting something to eat at a noodle bar. And when I walked out there was, I think, it was a homeless person asking for money and he asked for money and food and said: I'm hungry or do you have any spare change for me to get a cup of coffee?

And I remember as a child seeing someone's face like that for the first time. And I if you look at a child as they react to someone in need, they're horrified by it. They're shaken by it and they should be. And to a certain degree I'm shaken by it too. But over time and over time when you live in an urban area or you see it more and more and more it still shakes me. But I can figure out a way to push through it. I can look at the horizon and I can hear their voice in my ear saying: Hey please can I have some to eat sir? Or please I'm hungry or something..

And I keep walking past. Or when I'm walking past I'll be talking with a friend and I just make sure and focus on that friend when I'm walking past someone asking me something.just so I don't have to look over at them and I don't think I want to look at them because I don't want to look at their face. And I sometimes don't want to see the absolute struggle or humiliation that they're facing, either by some fault of their own or no fault of their own just the circumstance. And I.. there are times where I do that. Or I ignore it. And for the most part though I try, so hard, to always just look at the person and if I have something to give I give and if I don't I don't.

But I think the important thing for me at least for my own self is to look at that person and give an answer and to not be afraid to look at a person. I think we get we're afraid to look at people. And so when this guy asked me for food or coffee afterwards. I looked at him I said hey, you know I don't have any money right now. He said: no problem Have a blessed. And I walk away and I remember I had this bottle of water with me and I turned around they said hey: I have this water and I don't know if that's cool, and he goes: Yeah I'm thirsty. 

He took it. He immediately cracks it open. He starts drinking. I mean really really drinking. He's really thirsty. And I'm looking at him and I and I realize and he's looking at me and he realizes something too. And were just sitting there, these two people the middle of this busy street in front of this noodle bar. And I realize I'm just one degree removed from his situation. I mean his situation is my situation any human being can experience need. We all experience need and hunger and desperation and being embarrassed or being any of those things. I mean to think that I am somehow so far removed that it's just something that other people deal with.

No. I mean having an eviction notice on my door, I know I was one step away from that. And I was one bad decision. One bad investment if I had any money. I'm one bad parent or one bad geographical location. Or one bad revolution. Or one bad influence. Or one bad person who hurt me or abused me or took advantage of me. One bad fiscal choice of my own or someone else.

I'm one step away from his situation and his situation is a universal situation. It is not something we are divorced from or I am divorced from. And so when I look at this person drinking this water and I know what it's like to be fucking thirsty, I can identify with that moment and I know I'm gonna a walk away to a better situation than he is going to walk to. And I'm not even walking. I'm walking to a parking garage and driving away and I'm not going to feel guilty for the rest of my life about that but I'm gonna feel in that moment that I at least should take a look at this person's face. I can see something familiar.

 And I can see me. And he can see him, in me. And he's having a bottle of water and we're having a conversation and he says to me: you know what it's like for someone to look through you? And I said you know I've been to a couple of dinner parties. I've been to a couple of cocktail parties and they just sort of look around or look through me because I'm not famous. I was joking and I said, but no, I I have not. I kind of know but I don't know what you're talking about specifically.

I've never had anybody just look through me. And he goes, Well, have you ever looked having a look at you like you're a piece of trash. He said I'm, I'm serious. There are people that look at me like am I am a piece of trash. In the gutter with that water and sewage flowing into the sewer and I'm just a part of that...and I said: I don't know what that is.

I don't know what that must feel like but I'm sorry. He goes: No, I'm sorry, I just can't imagine looking at another person that way. And he said especially experiencing this now. When I get out of this.

He said. I will never ever... and if I do.

He said I'll make every effort in my fuckin life to look at another human being in their face and acknowledge that they exist. In any form. Privileged or not. They just deserve to be looked at and acknowledged.. Even for a second. He said: I appreciate you talking with me and I appreciate this bottle of water. I said: this is nothing and it's no problem. And I said, you you'll get there. He goes: well maybe or maybe not. And we just sat there, kind of both looking out at the world and I remember his face. I remember his face....

Outro – Cori Birce

I hope you enjoyed the episode. A lot of people have been coming up to Aaron and I at parties sending emails and calling to tell us how much they loved the podcast and ask when the next episodes coming out. A great way to stay connected is to visit the Web site 7minutestoriespod.com . You can also subscribe on Apple podcasts. And while you're there. Let more people know what you think about Aaron and his storytelling by rating and leaving a review. Lastly, the biggest compliment you can give us is to share your favorite episode with friends on social media.

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