A Good, Sturdy Tooth
Driving through Pahoa with my son Jacob, I spot an elderly, shoeless man hitchhiking. My heart swells and I come to a screeching halt 20 feet ahead of him. Surprisingly, the boney man sprints like a teenaged running-back toward our car, huge smile peeking out from beneath his unkept beard.
As he pushes his backpack and himself into the rear seat he enthusiastically shouts, “WOW! Thank you SOOO much for stopping! Isn’t it a LOVELY day!”
He is hard to understand as he has a prominent lisp. I am instantly in love with this soul. I turn around and respond, “YES IT IS!”
The man dramatically gasps and yells, “OH MY GOD! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!”
I laugh and exclaim, “YOU are beautiful.” He giggles as he points to his mouth and says, “I only have one tooth!”
I notice it is a good, sturdy tooth and tell him as much. He ponders this for a moment and seems pleased.
“Where do you live?” He asks after a bit.
“I live past the elementary school down Kahakai.” I answer.
“Oh!” He yelps, and is ecstatic again, “That’s where I go to vote!”
This truly touched me.
I love this life.