There have been 3 shootings in 6 months

where I like to buy my books

and I’ve been hassled each time I look through the titles

“Look, it’s the new look,” a black guy said about me to his friend.

I don’t know what section he’s been reading in…

I freely admit, my polo shirt contrasts with his gold chains

and I go with my mother—the way I always have.

“Hello, young man,” my mother says to a black teenager

“Hello, grandma.”

Now, I am a man, and my mother has graduated to grandma status

She is my favorite compatriot

I wouldn’t trade her

for any of the beautiful women at the mall.

We go to the next store, and she makes a wrong turn

“No! You were supposed to go the other way!” I say, hysterically.

She laughs.

We go to the sporting goods store, and the woman on the floor wants to help me

“She liked you,” my mother said.

“I know. Right now, I’m magnetic.”

At the next bookstore, I pull Indian Philosophy off the shelf

“You have an open mind,” my mother said.

“I know.”

“It’s too open!”

“Mom, you know that I do what I want to do.”

I know—and you keep reading strange books.”

It’s my incurable curiosity.”

I spend time pursuing philosophy, and a young man walks up to me

“Have you discovered any answers?” He asked.

Young people have been approaching me, lately—apparently, I look like someone who has found something

“Yes—the more godlike you become—the more power you will have.”

“I’ve read the Tao.”

That’s a good book—it’s about living in the natural rhythms. Knowledge must be applied, for it to become wisdom.”

“I like the teachings of Jesus, but I don’t have any faith,” the young man said.

“That’s because you haven’t put the teachings into practice. Would you like to attend a bible study?”

“Yes,” he said.

I gave him directions and went back to find my mother.

“Did you get anything good?” She asked.

“Another convert.”

“That’s five this week?”

“And the one at the gym.”

“God is using you.”

“I hope so, but it might be my own ego.”

“You are bearing good fruit—that means you are on the path.”

“Thanks mom.”

Time is moving fast now, and my desire to make milestones, has gone.

The ones we love, won’t be with us, forever.

And spending time with family is more important than the next big answer.

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