© 2008 Karen Van Fossan
The surprise? This Saturday, from 50 feet away, I heard someone call out to me, I care about you.
Do you remember the last time you heard, I care about you?
I'm more accustomed to hearing, I love you, from my brother, for instance.
Love, love, love, from Dragon Jane.
I like you, from Ferne's roommate, Marilyn.
I'll miss you over the weekend, from Ferne.
Be a good girl, from Grandpa Van. To which I always replied, You too.
The only time I recall hearing, I care about you, was this Saturday at the North Dakota Capital PrideFest. The words came flying across the road from a scripture-quoting protester. I care about you. Then he elaborated.
Like the other 1,099 PrideFest goers, I was quickly bound for hell.
I didn't give this statement a lot of thought at the time. I mean, there was a merry-go-round, after all. And a campfire, a live band, shared snacks, good friends, loving kids, the stranger who gave me a Mardi Gras necklace, someone's gentle hand to hold, not to mention a love-infested Dragon Jane performance.
I wonder, though. Had I given these words, I care about you, any thought at all, what might I have said?
Well, then, come on over! All kinds are welcome here.