So this happened when I was fairly young, around 7-8.
I had gone with my mother into town to do some grocery shopping and to loiter about in dollar stores looking to spend the $15 dollars I felt rich with.
So my mother, who raised me well on the dangers of talking to strangers and the like, tells me she was "ducking into the grocers" directly parallel to the dollar store,
and that I could wait there. I accept gleefully and she buggers off.
So I loiter about for roughly 10 minutes, when this Hippy looking guy, with long hair, a beard, tie die shirt and flare pants sidles up beside me.
Now I'd been in situations similar before, so I trusted my gut instincts to lead me to safety, and had practised the correct phrases to say before.
In all those situations I had that gut wrenching feeling to run, that primal instinct to leave in a damn hurry. **I** **didn't** **get** **that** **with** **him.**
I felt completely safe next to him, like he exuded an aura of relaxation and safety.
So I'm looking up at a cheap statue, trying to figure out what the fuck was going on when he turns to me, his face completely free of malice.
A little clarification before shit gets real, I am and always have been creative, I write, I draw, I sculpt. I do a bit of everything.
I especially loved it when I was a kid, I'd make little impromptu artworks on the floor and parade around with a sketchbook doodling nonsense.
**This** zen motherfucker turns to me and says "Keep creating little man, your drawings and floor art have some potential."
Then he pulls down a sculpture I was looking at, fishes 20 bucks out of his back pocket and tells me to go buy it.
This guy knew about my floor art, something only my mum and dad knew about at the time.
This memory has glued itself to the wall of my brain like a barnacle to a boat. It was a little creepy, but thanks Hippy man, your words kept me going.