Scott's mind never wandered. It was not that Scott was a particularly focused guy. It was more that his mind truly did not know how to wander. He was a one-channel kind of guy.
Not only was he stuck on this one channel, but his mind did not wander enough to realize that there even were other channels. And so he assumed that everyone else was just as absorbed in the one channel as he was. Scott would speak, and then everyone would immediately give the environment a careful glance to figure out what on earth he was referring to.
Scott would comment upon the scenery around him, the activity he was doing, or the activity someone else was doing. And that was it.
"It's even got a crack in it," he said to me out of the blue once.
I did the normal responding-to-Scott ritual of giving the location an overall search. Ah ha! He was talking about the wooden bench. Good. Now I knew.
"What does it think it's doing," he added.
What, the bench? I gave the scenery another glance. Ah, he'd moved on to talking about the dog.
It was like this with Scott.
"Nobody's cleaning up after him." Still about the dog.
I said a simple, "Ya," and then returned to my thoughts.
Five minutes passed in what I assumed was a thoughtful silence. And then Scott spoke again.
"Maybe the owner should be more aware."
I blinked. Had he truly been thinking about that for the past five minutes? I found that hard to believe. But if all his mind did was pass over the scenery, maybe a dog turd would be rather interesting.
It was like this. It would always be like this. If I had thought there was the possibility of a fascinating discussion with this man, I would have tried to inspire some conversations. But it was easier to ignore the slim possibilities and give the man the title of hopeless.
And I will never be so narrow-minded again.
It was like the switch in his mind had been flicked.
It was like the candle behind his eyes had been lit.
It was like the cage around his skull had been blown away in a breeze of imagination.
But was it still Scott who had danced into work that summer morning singing Bohemian Rhapsody and clicking his heels? I've always wondered...