As we passed Murray this morning, an older white gentleman got on my TRAX train.
He wore a t-shirt and jeans, and he was carrying a fishing pole. He sat next to an African man, diagonal from me.
"Those are some nice boots," Old Guy told the man next to him. The boots were olive colored, and had stylish sewing, and chains and different stuff on them.
"What?" the African man asked.
"What's your name?" Old Guy asked him.
"Sergio? Mucho gusto. I'm talking to you in Spanish. Where are you from?"
Serg smiled. "Haiti. I am from Haiti."
Old guy, "How do you spell that?"
Serg thought about for a minute. "Haich, aay, eye, tee." The old guy nodded.
And then Serg told Old Guy that he speaks French. Old Guy got excited about it. "You speak French? That's good. I speak nothing. I speak a little bit of Spanish and a little bit of English. See, I lived in Los Angeles for 40 years. There are no Americans there, only Mexicans." [At this point, I grinned at the guy sitting across from me, and he grinned back. We knew that their conversation would be interesting. I scrambled for my moleskine.]
Old Guy showed Serg[io] his fishing pole. "I'm going fishing." Serg nodded.
Then Old Guy asked Serg, "Are you married?" "No. I am a student." "Oh."
"How old are you?"
"Do you have any kids?"
Old guy was shocked. "And you're thirty-five?! You've got to get busy. God commanded!"
He kept going. "You can keep going to school too, there's a lot of help out there for people. You need to get busy having kids, though. See, you and your wife are two. [His wife that he...doesn't have...] Two times two is four. So to multiply and replenish the earth, you need to have four kids." Serg kept listening.
"You need four kids. And quando tienes quatro hijos, when you have four kids, God wants you to take care of them until they're eight years old. See, they're God's angels. When they're eight years old, then get 'em baptized in the Mormon Church, and he'll take care of them after that."
"All God asks is that you take care of your four kids until they're eight years old. They're God's angels, he'll take care of them after that. And if you take care of them, God will take care of you. All you gotta do is take care of them 'til they're eight. That's what Jesus says."
"That's his only commandment. Multiply and replenish the Earth, and once you have four kids, take care of them 'til they're eight. That's all He commands."
I don't know how much of that Serg followed, but he was listening, anyway.
Old guy stood up and extended his fishing pole down the aisle of the train. "I'm a fisher of men!" he exclaimed. And then, as the train pulled up to the next station he said he had to get off. He said something to someone else near him about how he could witness that the other guy was getting off too. I didn't really follow that.
"Hasta luego," Serg told Old Guy [Go Serg!], and Old Guy shouted back "Hasta luego!"