The Thumbs Up Man

A breather from the day. Time to clear your mind, engage in your own alternate reality. A need to stretch your legs, take in fresh air.

Walks.

On a Walk Down a Road Through Trees

Photo by Sharon Hughson

I go for walks a couple times a day. Even when the clouds take over the sky here in Seattle, I like to walk and let my mind wander to the alternate realities in my head.

Going for a walk is a common activity. We see each other out there every day, we walkers.

When I pass someone I smile and say, “hi.”¬†The most common response is a strained smile and “hi.”

Some people thin their lips into a grimace and try to blend into the background like the Predator.

The Predator

The Predator

Some people act as if I am the air and do not see me.

I would say most people fall into one of those three categories.

I thought I had seen every response imaginable.

Until the thumbs up man.

Courtesy Jay Malone Flickr Creative Commons

Courtesy Jay Malone Flickr Creative Commons

He wore thin framed glasses that complemented his wiry build. Like my best friend from high school he had short wavy burnt red hair. That’s who I thought of at first.

I hadn’t seen my friend since 1997 though. Spring Break that year I flew to Minneapolis the first week of April. A freak snowstorm hit, I remember. The freeways had been empty.

In the middle of the snowstorm we drove to the theater to see Private Parts, that Howard Stern movie. Like the roads the theater had been empty.

Movie Theater

However, the thumbs up man was not that friend.

Still, the man had given me a thumbs up.

What was I supposed to do with a thumbs up? My normal “hi” no longer felt adequate.

Maybe I did know this man?

I was positive I did not.

Was he wishing me luck? If so, for what? Perhaps the thumbs up man had come from the future to wish me luck for something that has not happened?

What do you think?

After we passed I realized that the thumbs up is a brilliant greeting. I mean, look what it did for me.

So, the next time you pass someone on a walk, instead of saying the standard “hi” greeting why not give that person a thumbs up?

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