It had been 13 months since I last saw George, who was a neighborhood regular back when we lived in Cobble Hill. Last January I went to pick some things up from our old place and decided to strike up a conversation with George, who was trying to sell me incense, which he sold on the street nearly every day for food money. Our conversation led to this entry that I posted on one of my many other blogs. (Most of which sit dormant waiting for some love.) When I ran into George last weekend, I wondered if he'd remember me. I told him about our encounter about a year ago and how I posted a photo of him and a little story I wrote about our chat on my blog.
"Oh, YOU'RE the one who did that? I had a lotta people tell me they saw that."
George must've gotten me confused with some other blogger who actually has readers. There's almost no chance someone in Brooklyn saw my post about him and told him about it. I've seen the metrics. But I didn't want to break it to George. His face was lighting up over the whole thing.
"You had people tell you about that? Really? That's great."
He soaked me in his toothless smile, then said, "Thank you, man, thank you so much for doing that. I love you."
He threw me with the sudden "I love you," but I had to throw it back at him. At that moment, I was feeling it myself.
"I love you, too, man."
And with that, George insisted on wrapping me in big bear hug. A long, warm embrace between two strangers. Nothing but love, right there on a busy street corner in Brooklyn.