A Metro Encounter

Last week, I had a pretty memorable chance encounter on the Metro station in Friendship Heights. As I’m getting off the metro, a cute and younger looking guy approaches me. He asks me something in a European accent…

At first it sounds like he’s asking if I have a gun and I look at him puzzled and probably also taken aback. He repeats and I ask if he’s asking for gum. He says yes, “a gum.”

We are walking up from the platform escalators, heading towards the turnstiles. I tell him I do have gum and start frantically digging around in my black hole of a purse. I know I have some, but my hand is reaching for everything but the gum. We go through the turnstiles and I reassure him I can provide him with “a gum.”

Finally, just before we reach the escalator to exit, I pull out some gum for him. I give him a stick and we board the escalator. As I’m putting it back into my purse, he starts up the escalator, thanking me profusely.

I was tempted to initiate a follow-up conversation. Where is his accent from? Why the sudden need for gum? What’s his story? But he hurried up the escalator before I could utter a word.

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