“Buy you a beer?” said the elderly man at the restaurant bar beside me.
I was waiting on takeout food, and he was enjoying a frosty mug. We both wore surgical masks. He sat five feet away. One side of his face was scarred from some kind of serious burn. His skin was marbled and smooth, the color of a pink crayon.
Me? You wanna buy ME a beer?
“Yeah, you. I’ve read a few of your columns. Let me buy you a beer. That way we can talk.”
Okay, sure. Thank you.
“Don’t mention it. What’ll you have?”
The bartender served me a tall glass and we touched our rims. The man’s hands were scarred, and underneath his burns was a face that looked happy.
“I got a bone to pick with you,” he said.
With me? Okay, why not? It’s your paycheck in my glass.
“You wrote once in your column that you loved everybody. Well, I wanna know if it’s B.S. You can’t love everyone, can you? Do you remember writing that?”
Yes, I recall writing that.
you mean to tell me you love crooked businessmen who destroy the earth and strip this world of everything good? You mean to say that you love history’s evil armies who invaded countries and killed others for no reason but lust for power?”
Well, uh, I guess I never...
“How about racists? People who, even though they have no reason to hate or degrade others, hate and degrade others? You love them? Or were you just writing words?”
“And what about ruthless dictators who murdered millions of men, women, and children simply because of their nationality or creed? Or how about murderers who kill families during home invasions? What about wife beaters? Politicians? People who hum obsessively?”
Well, you see, sir, I was just…
“How about the guy who breaks into your car and steals…