A homeless guy wished me a good evening as I rode by him today, and I decided to stop and talk to him for a bit. He told me his name was Gary, and complained that life is crap, and that he'd been through a lot that he had no control over. I agreed that there is a lot that you have no control over, and that you just do the best you can with what you have... ultimately, you can only be responsible for a small corner of the world.
Anyway, it turns out he was a First Nations (Native American) Vietnam vet, formerly of dual US / Canada citizenship, who decided to join the Canadian military after Kennedy was assassinated and later was recommended for fighting in Vietnam because "they thought I looked like I could make it through". He was telling me battlefield stories of guys getting their legs blown off and med-evaced out, and how he still doesn't know how he survived the jungle. "**** happens," he said. He laughed about a friend of his who is afraid of spiders: "you don't know what a spider is until you're in the jungle!". And he talked about how he's just tired of dealing with a world in which things like he saw in Vietnam happen.
It was a fascinating and touching conversation, and I'm glad I stopped. I'm not sure that he got anything out of it, but I hope so. Any of you had interesting conversations spring out of unlikely or random situations?