At about 12:30, I stopped by the Avent Ferry Road Post Office, and mailed a magazine to Steve.
While in line, a man came in looking for a roll of stamps he'd evidently dropped while in there minutes before. He saw the cap to the stamp container on the floor, and when he bent over to pick it up, his cell phone fell out of his pocket onto the floor. A little klutzy are we?
While in that shopping center, I stopped in the Family Dollar store, the only place I've been able to find Bit-O-Honey's, and I bought five bags at $1.00 each.
My next stop was at Flythe Cyclery, where I dropped off my bike for a tune-up.
One person working there was right inside the front door, helping someone, and I tried not to stare at his nose when he said, "Just wheel it right back there, and they'll help you," indicating a room to the left with the word "Service" above its archway.
On his nose, he had white bandages, or it might have been just gauze, formed into a perfect ball so that it looked like a clown's nose. He did not seem happy about it, though.
The guy in service seemed like the regular kind of outdoor guy who would work in a bike shop. He was a tall, thin man, perhaps in his late thirties or early forties.
The first thing he said to me as I wheeled up my bike to him was, "You like your handle bars like that?"
"As opposed to what other way?" I asked.
"Well, they seem a little low," he said emphasizing the word low.
"Well, that could explain why my shoulders hurt after I ride," I said laughing, but not meaning it. My shoulders don't hurt, but I have always thought that I should be able to see ahead of me while riding without having to look up.
"How old is your bike?"
"I bought it, here as a matter of fact, for the 2003 AIDS ride. You should have told me they were too low before I rode 350 miles from here to DC like that," I said, again, laughing. "If I hadn't come in here today, osteoporosis may have started setting in soon."
"There," he said as he finished tightening them at their new angle. "Now your other half won't have to give you a neck and shoulder massage after each of your rides."
I particularly appreciated his "listening" and "other-awareness" skills as, without missing a beat, he most likely switched from saying, "Now your girlfriend won't have to give you a massage..." to what he did say. Most straight people have no idea what an enormous impact this has for a gay person in terms of simply having your orientation considered, not to mention acknowledged and respected.
I asked him what he thought about the tread on the front tire, and he said, "It's fine, but the tire is on backwards."
"Backwards?" I asked. I had no idea there was a forward and a backward.
"Yes, see the direction of the cuts in the tread? They're supposed to go the other way."
I continued to exude my overall bike ignorance by trying to explain that one of the things I want them to specifically check during my tune-up is the gear shift that causes the chain to move from the middle cog on the left side to the larger cog, as it takes forever to engage. See cussing in yesterday's entry.
I feel certain that this could have been said with something like, "When shifting from 12th gear to 13th gear," but unfortunately I have no idea how many total gears there are on my bike, and between which gears the chain jumps from the small, to the middle, and then to the large, cog.
Oh well, he probably doesn't know what STET means.
From there, I went to Helios, where while devising yesterday's blog entry, I witnessed a most poignant scene.
|A slight, very pretty woman is sitting at a table, alone, whom I presume is waiting for her food or drink order to be ready.|
Within minutes, a man, who's beautiful, arrives with two children, a boy and a girl, maybe 8 and 9. They're all Arabic, perhaps; I think Egyptian for some reason. I get the distinct impression they are a "broken family" meeting here for a "visit."
The woman stands up and greets the man -- kisses him -- a peck on the lips, on each cheek, and as he bows his head, she steps on tip-toes and kisses him one more time on his forehead, where her lips linger longingly, her eyes closed.
She gives similar kisses to the children -- the first one on the lips, the next two on each cheek. The girl seems to relish them. The boy seems embarrassed by them, as she holds his head from turning away as she lovingly touches her lips about his face.
The kids sit down, but the adults remain standing, facing each other, and her eyes are moving all around his face now, as her fingers rub gently, and slowly, along his cheeks, which are covered in thick, jet-black stubble -- as if she desperately misses touching him like that, or is taking mental snapshots to treasure until next time.
After a short visit, she stands up, goes through the sign-of-the-cross type kisses on each of them again, waves, and walks to the door, which is no more than ten feet from them.
As she closes the door, she turns around and waves to all of them. The kids aren't looking. The man hasn't taken his eyes off her, as if he knows she still isn't finished saying goodbye. He keeps watching her as she nears the Glenwood Avenue sidewalk.
Just before she turns left, where she will lose sight of them, she turns back, again, and waves. He smiles, and waves back.
She's gone. I look for signs of moisture in his eyes, but only see them look downward at the children left to be embraced in his strong, masculine arms.
After a while a guy came in and sat at the table next to me, flattening out his copy of what looked like the New York Times' crossword puzzle.
I got up to use the restroom at one point, and I said to him as I passed by his table on the way, "Have you seen the documentary Wordplay?"
"No, I haven't heard of it."
"You should see it," I said. "It's about crossword puzzles. You'll love it."
I left Helios at about 5:30, and once home, boiled a chicken breast for dinner. Along with it, I had a couple of small red potatoes, and the leftover broccolini from the other night. Yum!
After witnessing my first of what appeared to be an eviction, I had a productive evening in terms of my new position as the NCSU STC Student Community Newsletter Editor, checking off the following items on the to-do list I created to help me meet a first draft deadline of August 1st:
|Send an e-mail to the the SurveyBuilder support team of an error I'm encountering trying to use the tool|
|Create a survey for recent graduates of the MS program (I did this in Word, so it's ready whenever the SurveyBuilder tool is fixed)|
|Ask Kim for a "Presidential Memo" or "President's Corner" article/blurb for this edition|
|Ask Kim for an excerpted version of her article on the STC Conference in Vegas that she wrote for the STC Carolina Community|
|Check out the article, "The New World of STC," to see if it will work as content meeting the "Message from the Director" requirement.|
Back to the interesting stuff: the eviction.
So, it's the end townhouse unit all the way to the left, when you're facing my house. I look out my window to see a cop car sitting out in front of it. No flashing lights.
There are four people standing out in front of my parking spots looking down that way.
After about a half hour, two "kids" (they looked less than 18) start plopping down all kinds of stuff on the front lawn: grocery bags of clothes, a couple of soft-sided suitcases with stuff just thrown in them (as in just now), a floor lamp, and eventually a mattress and bed frame.
I guess they were being evicted.
I got on my cell to my neighbor, recently promoted from section leader to being on our homeowner's board, and told her to get home as soon as she could to find out what was going on. I told her that her neighbor on the other side was out there, and he knows the poop. She promised to pump him for information and get back to me.