One of my sons was in a city with a few friends a few years ago. They were out socializing and trying new places and it was late and they walked into a bar that was not familiar in a part of the city they were not usually in.
They entered innocently, probably laughing, probably not paying clear attention, went to the bar to order, in their own world. And then. Suddenly he noticed something was off. They were being watched by a few big, scary looking guys.
They were clean cut college boys. The only ones of that type in this bar. And as he turned around, only a few feet away now, there was a group right there. Maybe not wanting their space invaded. Maybe not wanting their "kind" in there. Maybe wanting them to leave.
The biggest guy had many spiked piercings in his face. My son was 6 feet tall and this man was inches taller. His shoulders were almost twice as wide. The tall, pierced man had a leather jacket that was covered with metal studs. He was like a modern day knight, ready for battle, silver glinting from his face and his upper body. I mean, nails and needles and studs all over. Intimidating. Can you see him?
I am not done. He had done something with his eyes. They were coated or covered or tattooed ... I have no idea but they were all white or gray. I cannot remember now, but they were scary and different and monster like. You could not "see" this man.
Now my boy is good with people. And open to difference. But he was nervous. He knew the group right there was not going anywhere. They had positioned themselves to interact.
My son noticed this. He noticed a few things. My son spoke first.
"Hey, man. I love your jacket. Where did you ever get a jacket like that?"
The bar was quiet. Everyone waited. And then.... it had to happen.....bam!
The big, scary, studded guy told him all about his jacket. He had made it himself. He took great pride in it.
My son listened to the history of the jacket's making, for he was interested, he had noticed the patterns in the studding, the artistry, no detail left undone. His comment had been genuine admiration. He was not surprised when he heard of the hours of time that had gone in to getting the jacket "just right."
The studded guy took his jacket off. He never let anyone touch it, he said; and his friends laughed and agreed. But he offered to let my son try it on. And so my son did. He put the scary eyed man's studded, still warm, and maybe even sweaty, jacket ON.... It weighed a ton, he said. It weighed a ton. They took a side-by-side, smiling selfie. He took the jacket back off and gave it back. They all had a beer together. They shook hands goodbye.
I loved this story and I love my son and I learned so much from him when I heard it.