You thought you could tell the dangerous ones, but you could make a fatal mistake. I knew a psychiatric nurse who guessed wrong--the patient had always been so quiet--right up until he nearly fractured her spine.
And yet when this man bowed in such a courtly way all my misgivings melted away and I took his outstretched hand, as he bent over my knuckles to kiss them in that European fashion that always causes consternation in American women. He stayed a safe arm's length away and I relaxed a little.
Despite his hair sticking up on all directions and his track suit pants with the stripe along the side that had clearly slept in, he smelled faintly of pine shavings, newly cut grass, and a faint, not unpleasant, overtone--a mushroom-like smell.
He began to cough again, at length, "Beg pardon--the dust--a quintessence of dust as the poet would have it."
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Opps, for those who get automatic feed sorry for the duplicate with this not-so-small addition -Merry Christmas (next Sunday all the Six Sentencers will be taking the day off) and Happy New Year to all!