Sunday, May 27, 2007

being known

It seems that we each give nicknames to the other pilgrims. We mark them by some specific trait. One person calls the foursome of British youth "the boy band", while another refers to them as "the yobs". I´ve decided that the Oily Man (referred to as the Silver Fox by others) is my favorite pilgrim with whom I don´t speak several times per day. We´ve never actually had a conversation, but we make a point of smiling and nodding and exchanging clumsy pleasantries in one language or another. He has excellent posture and white hair and a good tan and strong legs and is purported to oil his body up and strut around the albergues in his Speedo. I´ve not witnessed the last part. There´s debate about whether he´s gay. In the morning we nod and smile. This morning we actually had a pretty long exchange while listening to a cover of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme over breakfast. He pointed to the speaker and said "Simon. Garfinkle. Robinson. Graduate." I nodded. An hour or so ago he checked in to see if we would be progressing to the same town to spend the night. We won´t actually speak, of course, but we´ll be in it together.

I was laughing about these noteworthy traits with some other pilgrims, ones I do speak with, and I noted that I really had no business poking fun at others for having noteworthy traits. A whole table of them agreed. They said they always know me by my orange Obama water bottle. Rainbow mohawk? No. Of course not.

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