Nice people. I can’t get enough of them. I like folks who take the last place in the line at potlucks. The kind who don’t think much of themselves, but think the world of you.

I can think of four or five names, right off the bat.

I also like people I haven’t seen in decades. Who when you see their faces, despite wrinkles or faded hair, you recognize them. And when you look in their eyes, you feel twenty-five years topple down on you at once. Like a bag of skillets.

I love folks I just met. When you talk to them, you experience something new. They speak different, think different, and refuse to put any toppings on their hamburgers. Not even cheese.

And this unusual behavior makes me grateful for tomatoes.

Folks who are naturally funny, I like them. I had a friend, named Carter, who impersonated Elvis whenever the mood hit him, even during average situations.

“Hey mama,” he’d say to the waitress. “I’m gonna have a sweet tea.” Then he’d add, “Thank you very much.”

I never saw a single waitress laugh.

Later I found out, Carter was raised in foster-care from birth. He never knew his parents. In fact, he didn’t have a proper name until he was a one-year-old, when a social worker named him.

I like tall people; you rarely meet mean ones. I like short folks—even that four-foot-five joker who once whooped me outside Robertsdale. Lord, he was lightning-fast.

I like sick people, they know more about life than I do. I like those who mourn, they’re the most alive folks I know. I like Republicans, Democrats, and whatever the other parties are.

Because more than anything, I love parties. My favorite shindigs are the ones with kids. The kind where ladies from party-supply-rental companies threaten lawsuits if you keep inhaling helium and making funny voices.

I also like those who are selfish, who never hold the door for strangers. I like manipulators, who take all they can. I like people who talk about themselves too much.

Above all, I like the cynical. People who are in a hurry. Those who complain. Big-mouths. I like people who do not know they’re flawed. Selfish ones. Folks who still have a lot to learn about what it means to be alive. These poor souls need love more than the rest.

And I should know.

I am one.

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