Taking the dog for a walk. I round the corner and see my neighbor (and former student) across the road. “Hi Michael!” I holler. He looks over and smiles and waves. “Am I a fashion plate?” I ask him. I am wearing floral-patterned garden shoes, purple knee-high socks, baggy denim capri pants two sizes too big and covered in mud at the knees from gardening, my standard black t-shirt and a black fleece jacket. Michael grins at the picture I make. “I just don’t care anymore,” I tell him, laughing.
Michael joins me in the laugh and points to his beard. “You see my beard?” he asks. “I don’t care anymore, either.”
We laugh for a moment with each other, and then wish one another a good night.
Priorities have shifted.