I walked into the smoke filled coffee shop to meet Devon. Devon is 18 years old, a senior in high school. He likes art and is currently taking college art classes. I have only meet Devon once before, in the mall. He caught my eye because he was wearing a pink fuzzy sweater, a pair of army pants, and a pair of combat boots.
I looked for Devon at the coffee shop but he wasn?t there. I was 20 minutes early so I took a seat next to a small round table. The only thing on the table was an ashtray. I could see the smoke lingering from the top of the dim lit room.
The door opened and Devon walked in. This time he was dressed in all black with a pair of bright red shoes on. He walked confidently, slouched over with a slight strut. He waved at some people in the corner booth and smiled, the people waved back and yelled, “Hay, Devon.”
As he looked in my direction I waved at him to get his attention. When he reached the table I shook his hand and introduced myself. He introduced himself “Hi my name is Devon.” He sat down on the other side of the small table.
Devon is well known in the coffee shop. He goes to the coffee shop about 3 times a week and tries to meet someone new every time he goes. He is really nice and it?s not hard for him to make friends. Almost everyone in the shop know who he is. If he sees someone he doesn?t know he?ll go up and talk to them.
Devon told me why he dressed the way he does, “I do it to show people that everyone is different and to like them for who they are.” Devon does not take a look at anybody and judge them for that one look. When he meets someone he automatically likes them, once he gets to know them he makes his decision not to like them if that?s the case. As Devon lit up a cigarette and took a puff he told me about some of his life.
“I haven?t dressed like this all of my life. One day I got all wet when my family went to the lake. I put on a pair of my dad?s clothes and the were big and baggy on me. As we pulled in the driveway to our house one of my friends saw me and told me I looked like a freak. I smiled and went inside to change. As I thought about it, it made since to me that most people are different. I started dressing like this to prove I?m a normal person with real feelings.”
He told me all the names people called him and that it really didn?t bother him that much. “I think I?ve been called every name in the book,” he explained. He just can?t believe people could say this and not know anything about him. He likes himself and doesn?t care what anyone else thinks.
Before I left, I thanked Devon for sharing a piece of his life with me. “No problem, happy to help you out,” he said. I shook his hand once again and left the coffee shop with a greater respect for people that may look a little different, and a new friend.