I Need to Look Mean and Grumpy

On the subway train this morning, there was a motorized cart that looked like a motorcycle or scooter. I was admiring it and didn’t notice the passengers around me when I sat down.  My seat was 90 degrees to another seat.  Think of the letter “L”.  I was on the bottom of the L and the other seat was on the side of the “L”  So I sat facing “north” and the other passenger who sat in front of me faced “east”.  It was a man who was quite disheveled, with somewhat dirty clothes and the smell of whiskey.

He turned to face me and extended his hand to shake mine.  His hand poked out of a rumpled jacket.  I shook his hand and noticed he had a firm handshake.  He leaned over and asked if I was from Korea.  I told him I’m from Toronto.  He then asked if I knew (insert Korean name) who was a Tae Kwan Do master.  I said no.  He leaned towards me and put his hand on my forearm.  Aside from him being filthy I didn’t sense any danger.  The subway car was not packed but there were a lot of people.  He then shook my hand again and thanked me for not breaking his neck.

Then he got a bottle of whiskey out and offered it to me.  I politely decline.  He started talking about something before launching into a song.  When the next stop came, I got up and told him this was my stop.  Just as the train came to a stop, I heard him shouting to someone “What the f* are you staring at?”.

At the platform, I took out a sanitary wipe from my knapsack and cleaned my hands and forearms.  I was on my way to see a doctor for an eye infection and didn’t want to accidentally scratch my eye.

I think when people see my big head, they must think I’m very approachable.  But my big head has not charmed any handsome, athletic, cute guys.

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18 thoughts on “I Need to Look Mean and Grumpy

  1. I didn’t know you had a big head Matt, but I doubt that’s what attracted this man to you. More likely, he thought your were Korean as that was his opening line with you. You must have a friendly face. 🙂 eden

  2. I try to smile at people otherwise I generally look mean and grumpy. This approach does not work either, but then again in my neck of the woods I would want to keep people at a distance. Perhaps there is a big head club I can join?

    • I live in a very urban environment. It’s outside the financial core of Toronto and has become quite gentrified. What’s your neck of the woods like?

      lol – I’m accepting new members to the big head club.

      • Urban as well, without the financial district unless I take the train into the city. The cost of living in SF has caused people to flock over to my side of the bay, but the area maintains its distinct flavor..

  3. HA! your last line made me snort-laugh! 😛

    Well, I don’t think you could look mean or grumpy, Matt! You handled that well. Often people, like that man, feel invisible or worse. So, I think if you feel safe and feel like talking to them, that is good. (I have “strangers” approach and talk to me a lot. I feel safe, so I listen and talk with them.)

    Know what? People with big heads are smart…they need that extra room to hold all of their brains.
    HUGS!!! 🙂
    PS…A big head is better than big feet, right?!
    Oh, wait a minute…maybe not. 😉 😛

  4. A big head is the sign of intelligence. And I have seen that in you.
    Mattie, I am so glad you allowed that man to shake your hand. The fact that he had a firm handshake, shows that at least he had some type of good education. I always wonder about their previous lives, and how they lived.

  5. What this tells me is that people can see that you’re a kind soul. Not many people would be willing to talk to let alone even shake hands with a homeless person who was dirty. Little acts of kindness like this will contribute to your good karma. I hope we get a chance to meet up again and have an in-depth chat. I’m sure it will be really nice.

    • Today a panhandler was walking around the sidewalk in my ‘hood. When she saw me, she just made a beeline towards me. I reached for some change and accidentally came up with a loonie. I didn’t have the heart to put the loonie back in my pocket. But it was all good. I had a great information interview with a former colleague this morning. He spent almost an hour with me and gave me some really good insights and tips. So it was good to “give back”.

      Love to spend time having an in-depth chat with you.

      • I had a similar but opposite experience with a pan handler. I opened up my change wallet to give him money but only had 15 cents. I gave it to him saying sorry that’s all I have and he gave me a dirty look.

        One day I’m sure we will catch up for that long overdue chat over coffee or meal!

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