You Say Goodbye And I Say Hello

I sat in my little blue car as the rain pounded the roof. I wasn’t waiting on the rain to subside. I was writing my little anecdote about the family bicycling in the rain. When I finished, I exited the car and went into the store to buy some empty calories. Preferably something hotter than the surface of the sun. I paid and then stepped to the side to use the lottery ticket checker. Obviously, I did not win, or this post would be markedly different. The clerk and I exchanged pithy commentary about language. Because that’s what people do, right? This clerk in particular, who I’ll call MacKenzie (because that’s his name), commented about the French language. And then we digressed, as is our custom. I told him that the Marshallese language was one of those interesting languages wherein you could use the same word for “hello” as “goodbye.” And I pronounced it for him: “Yokwe.” He repeated it perfectly but then gave me the look that indicated he thought I MIGHT be pulling his leg. Which is also customary. He’s one of those people whose job definitely doesn’t match his intelligence. As we quickly jumped to another related subject, a customer approached. I saw him obliquely and assumed he was Latino due to the pronounced mustache. Having finished checking my lottery ticket, I said, “Yokwe” to the clerk as a goodbye. The allegedly Latino customer looked quickly at me and repeated the word. “Are you Marshallese?” I asked him as he smiled. He nodded. I told the clerk, “See!? I wasn’t pulling your leg.” We laughed. I went out to my car, and as I turned to get in, I saw that the Marshallese gentleman was at his car and looking in my direction. I waved and got in. Since I was ravenous, I tore the bag open and dumped about half of the fiery contents in my mouth. A car honked behind me, and as I looked in my mirrors, I saw that the Marshallese man was passing behind me and waving again. I’m certain that he was tickled that his language was being used and talked about. The encounter was a surprise of coincidence and rapid-fire wit. And we inadvertently made someone happier because of it.

Love, X

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s