Site icon Joanna Campbell Slan

My Son, the Endangered Species

Last month, my son Michael and I went to dinner together at
a very nice restaurant in Hobe Sound, Florida. We were sitting at a high-top
table, waiting for our food to arrive, when a man came over and said to Michael,
“May I ask you a question?”
Michael is 25, wears a beard, and on this particular
evening, he was dressed in sandals, jeans, and a gray hoody.
The man wore a black leather jacket, an earring in one ear,
jeans, and tennis shoes. The portion of his skin that showed was covered in
tattoos. He looked to be in his mid-sixties. At one time, he was probably a
really great looking guy, judging from his bone structure. However, like a lot
of Floridians, he’d baked himself in the sun too long, so his skin was wrinkled
and textured like a Coach purse.
“Sure,” said Michael, with a shrug.
“What’s with the hoody?” asked the man.
Michael gave me one of those looks that translates into “huh?”
I smiled at him encouragingly. He’s my baby boy, no matter how big he gets, and
I love him.
“I like them,” said Michael. “I just like them.”
“Oh,” said the man. “Just so you know, if I see you at my
house in that hoody, I will shoot you.”
Really? I nearly fell off my chair. I could not believe what
I was hearing. Fortunately, I know the restaurant owners, and I knew they would
intervene if I asked for help. But I didn’t want to make a scene. Once he had
said his piece, the man wandered off.
I sat there thinking of all the things I should have said.
So here’s my point