Friday, October 8, 2010

Judging by appearances

Late last night, well after midnight, I took my little telescope out front to look at Jupiter. I had the porch light turned off so as not to spoil my night vision.

While I was aiming the scope, a couple of noisy middle-aged Mexican guys walked by, speaking loud Spanish, and spitting a lot. It looked like they were walking home from work. I could see one guy was wearing a cowboy hat, but it was too dark to see their faces. Judging by their coarse manner, they didn't sound like people I'd want to meet on a dark night.

After they went past the neighbor's hedge I could no longer see them, but could still hear them. Their voices abruptly became hushed. I sensed they were talking about me and I grew worried. But it sounded as if they were still moving away, so I felt some relief.

Suddenly I looked up and saw the guy with the cowboy hat had returned and was staring at me in the dark. A little nervously, I said "Hello." He replied in a very friendly tone "Hello! Are you taking pictures?" I said, no, this was a telescope. He then said "My friend said there was somebody there, but I didn't believe him. I had to come back to look." Evidently, his friend thought I was creepy, since I appeared to be lurking in the shadows. Anyway, cowboy hat man then asked what I was looking at, and I told him Jupiter. He thought that was great and said goodbye and went on his way. I heard him speak to his friend in a cheerful tone and I gathered that he was telling him that I was harmless.

And to think I was worried about them.

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