January 23, 2011
So I was walking around the downtown shops at lunch. As I was looking in the windows, I was finishing one of the best doughnuts that I'd had in some time. I was admiring how much icing this last bite had when I heard a woman enthusiastically say (quite loudly I might add), "Well, howdy stranger!" I looked up. A vividly dressed woman was looking in my direction, had her arms open wide and was coming in for a big bear hug.
I decided to put this situation on pause. I only had a split-second to think. Who was this person? She seems to know me but I have no idea. This is what telephones were like before caller display was invented. I'm usually pretty good with remembering faces but I'm running out of time here. I have a brain hard drive failure... I'm going to have to press play again on this situation and just fake it. Maybe I can ask how things are going and hope that something is said that gives me a clue who this person is before I give my blankness away.
Time starts moving again. I've given up and can't recall anything. She's not familiar at all. Oh please make this be a short bear hug. Here she comes!
Somehow she misses. There was another woman right behind me all along. The actual target of the aggressive greeting. A feeling of entire relief overcomes me. I dodged the bear hug bullet and avoided the quiz show of missing identity. Confusion, Mystery, Fear... all gone. I still have some doughnut left though.
January 17, 2011
So I was waiting to turn at a red light. Since I was in the lane nearest the curb, I could see forward down the sidewalk a fair amount and noticed a pedestrian walking towards me. He seemed to be grooving to some sounds coming from some rather large headphones. Of course that's when I noticed that he was actually grasping some invisible drumsticks and was playing a set of air drums. While I said that he was just grooving, I'm going to have to take that part back. He was really going for it. And it was slowly evolving into an air guitar solo. By the time he got to the crosswalk, he was the Axe-Man, ripping into his invisible guitar. Being that animated and alive in his own virtual concert, he pushed the walked signal and it changed right away. Somehow I just knew it would. It also seemed that pushing that button rotated band members too. He walked strutted across the road as the lead vocalist, complete with several textbook roll and roll poses (including 'the Point').
I heard the people in the car next to me laughing but I pretty much sat there in quiet amazement. In our society, why is it not okay to really (and I mean REALLY) enjoy music? I'll admit it was a little unusual and I hope that a car wasn't going to hit him later since he was hardly paying attention to traffic. Still, the fact that I am entirely unmusical prevents me from ever singing, especially in public. Backing up my insecurities and lack of talent with pretend instruments would be way out of the question... yet for this guy, it's totally okay. I think the world needs more people that aren't afraid to enjoy their lives in the way that they want to.
January 09, 2011
So I was out walking my dog and rounding a bend on a park path, I came across a man who also had a dog. Since his dog was much smaller, I was paying attention to my dog and being careful that he wouldn’t be squashed (or eaten). I said, “Hello”, and heard him say, “Isn’t this such a wonderful morning?” Weather-wise, it WAS a perfect no-wind, lots-of-sun-but-not-too-hot, how-could-you-ask-for-more type of day. Both of our dogs start acting up and it gets a bit chaotic. I have control of mine and he's got his, but I’m using two hands and we start to keep walking away in the directions that we were going into. Just as we pass, I look up and recognise him as the older bald man who I’ve seen living just around the corner. Except today, here he is with actually a bit of a head wound. If I was guessing as to what happened, it seemed that probably had fragile old-man’s-skin and walked into a branch or something. It looked like it might have happened minutes before as it had time to start dripping to the side and front of his head. I decide to say nothing about it and walk on. He’s not walking home, has made no visible attempt to stop the bleeding and the tone in his voice seemed to indicate that he was unaware that it had even happened. Why ruin such a wonderful morning?
January 08, 2011
So I walked to work this morning (since my bike’s in the shop). Upon passing a non-descript 2-floor trademan-type premises, I was looking at these circles painted on a wall. As my eye went up to the second floor I noticed someone looking at me out of the window. From my perspective he was just a head in a window. Although he seemed to be some ‘get to work early for a coffee’ type of guy, he was just staring at everyone going by. Our eyes met and I gave him ‘the man nod’. Noticing me notice him made him flinch slightly. I got the impression that he was fighting the urge to duck and hide. Instead, with a stone-scared, deer-in-the-headlights expression, he tilted his head and seemed to fall over backwards, just really slow. It was like getting shot in the head except at about one quarter speed, and no blood, exiting the frame.
So there’s this older guy that I pass on the walkway when I go to work in the mornings. I see him reasonably regularly. He seems to be walking for exercise - faster than normal pace but not quite hardcore racewalking speed. Everyday he seems to be totally not enjoying being out there and perhaps a bit grumpy.
Lately, I noticed that he has been wearing those bud headphones like the ones that come with an iPod. Hey, for all I know they could actually be plugged INTO an iPod. I try to imagine what kind of music that he would listen to. I just can’t and really have no idea. While I’m certainly no expert on whether any piece of music is good or bad, does this guy even ENJOY any music?
So I’m left to wonder... classical? a really sad opera? or (my gut-feeling that it’s) just talk radio? It’s entirely possible that when not walking he’s a pretty fun guy and that his music tastes are quite of good and modern taste.
But I’ll probably never know and it’s something that I’ll continue to reflect on.