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Thoughts and observations about language

Daniel Meets A Zombie

Well, not really. But let me tell you about the guy I've named Pizza Zombie.

So tonight, here late in the evening, I was walking to the grocery store to buy some food for breakfast in the morning. On my way there, I saw a man shuffling around with a pizza in his hand, looking up at some house. He was wobbling and shuffling along slowly, and I'm not sure if he was high or he was drunk, but my first thought was he was a pizza delivery guy who was drunk trying to find where to deliver the pizza to. He wanders down an alley as I'm getting near, so I pay him no more mind as I continue to the store.

Twenty or so minutes later I finish at the store and head back to my place, and come to an intersection. And who just happened to have crossed that intersection? Pizza Zombie, only 100 or so meters from where I last saw him twenty minutes ago. The crosswalk's red when I get there, so I have to wait. And while I do, Pizza Zombie comes up to me and asks me for help. Given the way downtown SLC is, my first reflex is figuring he wanted some change, and I tell him I don't have any change. But instead he tells me he doesn't know where to go. Given that it's also common for people to be looking for a place to stay, I say nothing then. But no, he's not looking for a place to stay. He literally doesn't know where to go. 

"Where am I?" he asks me, looking dazed. Now SLC is a grid system, and we happened to be standing at the intersection of two roads with the same number, so I tell him the two numbers. He tells me where he's trying to go, and I'm starting to direct him when I realize that he only gave me the numbers, and without the direction on each of them there were two equally likely places he could be trying to go, so I stop and ask for clarification. With that, I direct him which way he needs to go, with one of the two streets he was looking at being the next one directly east from where we were.

He offers me some of his pizza, and I decline. Then I find where he was didn't sink in, because he asks again. So I tell him again, and he asks which direction the closer road is to where he needs to go. I point it out once again, and he offers me pizza again. Declining once more, he asks me yet again where he is, and where to go. Once more I point down the road the direction to go, and he turns from me as the crosswalk light changed and lets me go on my way. 

I turn to look back at him after walking across the crosswalk, and Pizza Zombie was shuffling along the sidewalk the road again. Going down the other road from that intersection, not the direction he needed to go. And not a direction that will help him, either, because that isn't a through road.




Date: 17 Apr 2015 - 21:25
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