The Last American Man.

Later that night, when we were alone, Eustace told me how heartbroken he gets whenever he spends time around modern American teenagers. Yes, he can communicate with them, but people never understand that it rips him up inside to see how ignorant the kids are, how undisciplined in their personal interactions and how disrespectful of their elders, how consumed they are by material desire and how helplessly incompetent in a way that you would never see with, say, Amish children.

But I wasn’t listening carefully to Eustace’s lament, because I had another question on my mind. “Hey, about what happened there tonight. Do you get that kind of response everywhere you speak?”

“Yes.”

“From all age groups; from all backgrounds?”

“Yes.”

I thought this over. “So tell me specifically. Why do you think these particular teenagers were so hypnotized by you tonight?”

Eustace’s reply was so immediate, so uncompromising, and so coldly delivered that it sent a quick little chill right through me.

“Because,” he said, “they recognized right away that I was a real person. And they’ve probably never met one before.”

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