He pulled my hand to his shoulder again and pressed it against his neck. I asked him how he was, if there was anything else I could do for him. After a moment, he let go of my hand to plug the hole in his neck and say, "Are you a Christian?" This is almost always a trick question.

"Yes," I said.

"Will you talk with me?" It took him a few tries before I understood, and even then I didn't know how to answer.

Just because I couldn't think of anything else to say, I said, "Talk? Sure? But I don't think I have much to talk about." I lifted my hand from his shoulder. When I did, he looked upset, and so, awkwardly, I held his shoulder again. I asked him his name. Andrew. I told him my name, that I was a student at the University of Washington, that I was an English major, that I was 21 years old. Each bit of meaningless information seemed to make him happier.



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