The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Pace Yourself

I’ve seen the older man walking his dog in the mornings and afternoons. I’ve watched them trudge along, slow to the point of stillness, causing passersby to always pass by. … Continue reading

September 15, 2020 · 3 Comments

Kerouac’s Ukulele

A boy of about seven or eight waits for his Mom, who is caught in a conversation with a friend in the street. The boy wears a ukulele on a … Continue reading

July 28, 2020 · 4 Comments

So Let’s Try…

There’s an older man who works at the parking lot of a bank near my apartment. He wears a polo shirt that declares he is Security. He has a lanyard. … Continue reading

July 23, 2020 · 12 Comments

To Be Grateful

I’m waiting in line for three ticket machines in the metro station. Of course, I get to mine, and it doesn’t take cash. Or cards. So I turn, tugging my … Continue reading

September 7, 2016 · 19 Comments

Street Charades

The man is in a beret and a sweater-jacket with a high neck and a vaguely American Southwest pattern. It gets my attention because I’m in Budapest, Hungary, quite a … Continue reading

April 25, 2016 · Leave a comment

Boys with Books

Seven junior high school boys are on a sort of field trip by bus. They chat in small groups, look over my shoulder at my notebook, annoy an old man … Continue reading

March 28, 2016 · 7 Comments

A Puzzle

A young man with a shark-tooth necklace, a skateboard, and a black wrist band sits in the Metro and stares into space. One stop later, he reaches into his backpack, … Continue reading

March 23, 2016 · 3 Comments

Roll With It

It’s a long line at the grocery store on a Friday afternoon and everyone is staring into space, sighing, or frowning–even yours truly. I always get a basket rather than … Continue reading

December 18, 2015 · 7 Comments

First to the Top

They are brothers, this is clear. The eyes, the posture, the low chuckle as they part ways. One brother boards the 16 bus. This brother wears a navy coat, a … Continue reading

December 14, 2015 · 6 Comments

Budapest Bakery

In the bakery in Budapest, I have to rely on my “have mercy on me” skills. Even when I try to read the tags next to the pastry of my … Continue reading

December 11, 2015 · 14 Comments

The Ladies of Wifi

In the Italian restaurant overlooking a busy bus station and the remarkable Hungarian parliament building, three women exclaim, “Hotspot? Hotspot?” in unison. The waiter gives them the password and they … Continue reading

March 4, 2015 · 8 Comments

Random Apple of Kindness

Our checkout woman has short, funky blonde hair and she’s been very unhappily scanning groceries for a ceaseless line of customers. I don’t blame her for being grumpy. I’m with … Continue reading

December 12, 2014 · 18 Comments

Tram 6: Another Abbreviated Love Story

They see each other while she is a passenger and he waits at the stop. As the tram slows and the doors opens, they both lift their chins just a … Continue reading

September 29, 2014 · 8 Comments

Three of a Kind

Even before you can recognize their similarity, you can read from non-verbals that they are related. The older woman picks something off the shoulder of the woman who must be … Continue reading

September 26, 2014 · 6 Comments

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