- I "missed" the bus, and
- I looked down.
However, 8:25 came and went. 8:30. 8:35. The 8:15 bus has never been later than 8:30. Because, much after that and it starts getting close to when the next one will leave its origin.
Perplexed, annoyed, and a little bored, I looked down on the sidewalk to find a red ant approaching my foot. My first inclination was to stomp on it. But, then I thought, "This ant is minding its own business. It's in its own environment. Why would I kill it?"
"Because if it bites me, it will sting like a bitch," came to mind. I've stepped in a pile of red ants before, and it wasn't pleasant.
But, I let it be, and it made its way to the grass along the edge of the sidewalk, where it was joined by another, much smaller, one. They didn't seem to be doing any "work"; that is, pushing any tiny what looks like a crumb—but actually weighs a thousand times more than they do—or whatever it is they're reputed to do.
Suddenly, from about a foot away, an earthworm made its way onto the sidewalk, and I thought, "I haven't seen a worm in its natural habitat since I was a kid." We used to go "nightcrawling" when we were kids, as my dad was an avid fisherman and he, I suppose, felt some obligation to teach us to fish, which of course, all started with worms. After all, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime," which is not from the Bible as a lot of people think, but rather a Chinese Proverb. But I digitally digress...
I watched this worm, which was definitely not a nightcrawler—way too short and thin; not to mention it wasn't night—make an interminably slow trip across the sidewalk. Its head was purplish and its body got progressively lighter in color—toward pink—and more translucent towards the tail. It was moving in a diagonal line and once or twice, it surprised me by spinning two complete revolutions sideways to move in a different direction without changing the direction in which it was pointing. Fascinating.
When it was about three-quarters of the way across, being the extremely impatient person that I am, I thought, "I wonder if I could make it turn such that it would be traveling straight across instead of diagonally to get across faster." I bent over and put the straight edge of my campus badge beside it so that it would have to turn a little. As soon as my badge touched it, it went into all this curling and twisting gyration.
"Drama queen!" I thought, but knew down deep that it was probably just some kind of self-defense mechanism.
After all that, it ended up still in a diagonal direction, albeit toward the left instead of toward the right. Next, it approached a pine needle, which I assumed it would stretch and contract its way over, but surprisingly, the head dipped under it. But then stopped. And then went over it. Coming to another one, it went under it.
I just let it be, and when it finally made it to the edge of the sidewalk, its head went down into the crevice created by an edger, between the edge of the sidewalk and the start of the grass, and it sort of hung there for almost a minute, as if peering over a cliff.
And when it finally reached its tipping point, the eureka of why the worm crossed the sidewalk occurred to me: "Because it had a half-hour to kill, evidently."
When I looked up, a van came by with advertising on its side that said, "Humane removal of pesky wildlife." Looking down again, a big, fat black-bellied caterpillar with bright yellow feet came strutting across the sidewalk.
Speaking of killing half-hours, it was then coming up on 8:55, now past the time the next, 8:45, bus should have pulled up, and I started to wonder if it were some kind of holiday I wasn't aware of on which the buses weren't running. I used my cell phone to call the number on the bus stop sign to see what was up.
"The 8:15 bus was in an accident," the dispatcher said. "Let me see where the 8:45 is. Just a second. It's over at Method and Western."
It arrived after much longer than it should have taken if it really were where he'd said it was, but at least it came. People on the bus did not seem happy. One person had on a food or some other kind of service uniform that made me think, "At least I don't have to punch in and lose money for being late."
The short, round lady of denim was on this bus, too; today in a much more sensible outfit, and I—once again—beat her to the stop cord at our stop.
Walking down the sidewalk along the library on my way to get a 15-cent cup of coffee (tomorrow's the last day of this perc perq), something happened on that sidewalk that has never happened before either. A squirrel darted across the sidewalk right in front of me.
Finally, at 9:25, I entered the haven of bricks and mortar—with ants, worms, caterpillars, and squirrels a mere memory of my morning.
I had a totally meeting-free workday and relished it.
I ran to Target after work where I made two prints of a picture, an 8x10 and a 5x7, and then bought two frames for them. After getting them home and putting them in the frames, I'm disappointed in the picture. It's too dark. I'm going to take it to work tomorrow and ask my photography friend if he can lighten it up, and then I'll reprint it.
I also bought a couple of things for belated birthday gifts for my friend Joe. I know he wanted to recharger for his iPod, so I got that, along with a $30 iTunes gift card.
I also bought two tubes of hand sanitizer that fit nicely in your pocket—considering our imminent air travel on Thursday and Sunday and three days in a somewhat confined area known as Disneyworld.
At home, I began the arduous chore of straightening up and cleaning my house in anticipation of my house guest arriving with us when we return from Disney, as we're on the same flight from Atlanta to Raleigh-Durham.
I started with filing the box of papers that was overflowing, which actually had a couple of papers in it from 2007. No comment.
Joe's flight was late leaving Eerie, which made him miss his connection in Philly, changing his arrival at RDU from 10:30 to midnight. I got to the airport at about 10:50, and I pulled into the Sheetz gas station to wait for his call to avoid having to circle around the airport.
I went inside, and after walking around looking at everything, I stepped outside, and it had started raining. It was a steady rain coming down in, well, sheets.