The kid magnet.

As his mom & lady friend wait at a table near mine for a to go order, a little boy in a sort of plaid jacket (made with silhouettes of guitars) with a hood has decided that I am the most interesting thing in this cafe.

At first he just stares at me from a distance before deciding to try to get my attention by hanging out (standing) in my peripheral vision just beyond my laptop screen.

I look up and smile, which only encourages him. So he takes a couple steps closer — continuing to stare — in silence.

Again, I look up and smile.

Then he takes a couple steps closer. He’s now 1 foot from the front of my table — staring at my face over my laptop screen.

Juuuust staring.

This would be really awkward if it wasn’t a semi-common occurrence.

I look up at the mom & friend who are watching him while seated at their table. They laugh and apologize, “Sorry!” — and they call him back to their table and he walks back over to them.

I laugh back — and sort of wave — and say it’s not a problem.

No more than 10 seconds pass before the little boy is again standing in my peripheral vision staring at me. Just standing there. Staring at me.

I glance up, smile, take a sip of coffee, then look back at my screen and start typing this…

Fearless, he then walks right up to my table and stands less than 6 inches away from my chair — in silence — and just looks at me.

Then he looks at my screen and sees that I am typing. Then he looks back at me. I look at him and smile.

And in this moment, the ladies’ order is brought to their table, so the friends get up and call the boy.

But he doesn’t move. He just stands right next to me.

So they say “byyyyyye!” and wave at him like they’re leaving — and they start inching toward the door…

He just stands next to me, unphased.

He looks at me. Looks at my mouse. Looks at my screen. And completely ignores them.

So I look at him, smile, and gently say “byyyeee” and wave (from 6 inches away!) as the mom calls him.

He stands there for a few moments more…

Then he looks at me, smiles, and then finally turns and wanders off to join them.

Ok — I wrote the above (about an hour ago) and then decided not to post it because this story doesn’t have a tidy little ending — and because I don’t really understand it. I often just save those stories…

And then this just happened…

I’m typing on my laptop, look up because I hear, “Where are you going? Where are you going? You don’t know him, honey!”

A little black girl walks up to me before I even notice her approaching.

“Honey, you don’t know him.” The mom grabs her jacket hood and gently pull her away, while saying, “Sorry!” to me.

“This kind of happens a lot. Have a nice night.”, I say.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m DOing something that makes this happen — but here’s a case where I definitely wasn’t. It just happens.

Again, I don’t have a tidy ending to this story, but it’s too weird not to post at this point.

This sort of thing happens rather often, although I don’t always write about it — but here are a couple other instances:

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