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If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in the mind of an introvert writer, here it is. We like judging people. Not in the indicting sense, but rather as a playful mind game that often displaces conversation. Shame on us who prefer an imagined conversation rather than reality. It does, however, assuage the boredom of unthinking silence.

I had just ordered a maple bacon biscuit from a cafe on the edge of the Florida State University campus and after presenting payment, the young lady working the register casually threw a question at me which I considered for three seconds then replied, “eternal life.”

The question she asked? “What is the best gift you have ever received?”

I sat and waited for my biscuit. I noticed then, as food was ready to pick up, they called your answer out over the sound system. I thought, “They will look me over to see who the “eternal life” guy is. I began watching the steady stream of folks picking up their food as their answers were proclaimed.

“Life” was an older lady who shuffled and had a kindly face. I bet she makes great blackberry cobbler.

Mr. “no answer” seemed withdrawn, perhaps an introvert busy judging others without time to consider the question and reply in a measured and proper way?

“salvation in Jesus” seemed evangelical middle-of-the-Bible belt girthy…whatever that means..

“family to love again” was mysterious, and I wondered about what had happened in her life to make her need to have a family to love again.

“My wife”, I think he mailed that one in and would have gotten a tongue lashing with any other answer.

“my daughter” made me think of the two great daughters I have

“Scholarship” was young, probably FSU student, maybe weighs 140 lbs dripping wet, academic rather than Seminole football

“dog” round kindly face, yes, I’m thankful for Abby, my dog also. She gets left out of way too many prayers.

If I ever eat at the Maple Street Biscuit again, I’m going to order everything on the menu just so I can sit and watch the people again, walking, shuffling, strutting, strolling, eating biscuits, bacon, and pure maple syrup while considering life and how they answered that question.

How would you have answered?

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