The only regular on the city bus this morning was Library Man, who today was reading a section of the News & Observer rather than his usual choice of a trade magazine. Showing on the pages he held open were the TV listings on the left page and the "Nation" (i.e., National News) section on the right page. His wedding band glistened on his left hand, and I wondered what kind of husband he was—both in terms of inter-spousal communications, as well as in the sack. But I truly digress...
The seat in front of me, as well as the seat in front of that, both accommodated African-American women, both of whom were on their phones. The lady in the seat directly in front of me talked the entire duration of my trip, and it was about nothing from the bits and pieces that I overheard. "Yes, girl..." and "Then she said..." and "Yes, she did..." She had on a nylon do-rag that was all discombobulated in the back, and had pillies and runs in it, as well as tiny little holes of wear and tear starting in various spots.
The lady in front of her wore a Santa Claus hat that was wrinkled enough to indicate that it didn't exactly sit on a hat rack during the off-season, and by the tone of her voice and the way she shook her head while she was talking on her phone, one got the distinct impression that Mrs. Claus was talking to someone whose stocking she'd definitely be recommending her husband fill with coal on Friday. At one point she got so fed up that she yell-whispered, "I'm going to have to call you back later!" and then pushed the "End" call button on her phone with such rage that it occurred to me that that must be the 21st century equivalent of slamming down the receiver on someone.
At work, I completed the minutes of our December 17th Student E-mail meeting and sent them off to my boss's boss.
I intended to have the salad bar at Two Guys for lunch, but arriving found out that they've suspended both it and their pizza buffet while school is out. "We'll start it back up when the semester starts," the hostess assured me.
I went further down the street to El Rodeo, where during lunch I leafed through a printed version of the e-book What Matters Now. Each page has a "heavy thought" from one of today's "thought leaders," and on the page entitled Enrichment, I immediately thought of my friend Anna Thompson when I read this:
|The Litmus Test: If someone is truly enriching your life, you will typically miss them in your past. That is, you think your life would have been even better if you had met them earlier.|
That thought about her struck me enough that once I got back to my office, I sent Anna an e-mail telling her that very thing—to which she replied:
|That is the sweetest, most amazing thing I can imagine anyone saying to me. The kind of thing a person might think, but rarely ever says out loud. Thank you so, so much. I feel much the same way about you and our whole group. Salon has been the most enriching experience I've had in years... like childbirth, but without all the blood. ;-)|
See, it's retorts like that last line that make me regret time I've lost not knowing her.
I misspoke yesterday when I referred to "all four of the Scrabble games I'm currently in the midst of," as I'm actually in the midst of five of them. My bad. Here's the one I forgot:
It has just occurred to me that I'm exposing my entire letter tray to my opponents with these screen shots. Oh well. I'll think of it as a little reward to them for reading my blog if they do see them.
I noted one of those implicit affirmations today when someone walking behind me said hello to me when they could just as easily have said nothing, as I wouldn't have even seen them.
Two other buscapades of note—the first of which actually happened yesterday at lunchtime, and the second one today on the bus ride home.
Yesterday at lunchtime, there was a white guy maybe mid-to-late thirties on the bus with some kind of disability that caused him to have to keep his head facing way up, like he was looking at the sky all the time, and his mouth kept continually opening and closing. He had this huge pot belly that seemed to start below his belly button. It stuck out far enough that it looked more like something that was resting on his lap than part of his torso.
He was in the front center-facing seat, and two nice looking girls took the first forward-facing seat, such that they looked at his profile. Shortly after they sat down, he turned to them and started speaking incredibly loudly to them, first asking them if they were college kids, then what their majors were and what kind of jobs they'd be looking for, and finally where they were from.
I think they said they were from Texas, to which he replied: "I USED TO LIVE THERE. SPENT SOME TIME IN A RELIGIOUS GROUP THERE. NOW I CAN'T TELL YOU WHICH RELIGION TO BE, BUT I CAN TELL YOU WHICH RELIGION NOT TO BE: JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES!"
"Oh, lord," I thought, "I sure as hell hope there are no Jehovah's Witnesses on this bus."
He forged on: "YEP. THEY'RE THE KIND OF RELIGIOUS PEOPLE THAT IF YOU TOLD THEM TO PUT A GUN TO THEIR HEAD, WELL, THEY'D PUT A GUN TO THEIR HEAD." Thinking about a lot of other religions, I thought, "Uh, I don't think the Jehovah's Witnesses have cornered the market on that kind of blind-faith, detached-from-independent-and-rational-t
Mercifully, after projecting that piece of profound wisdom, he said, "WELL, IT WAS NICE TALKING TO YOU TWO. YOU TAKE CARE," and he just turned back around to face the front of the bus and didn't say anything else until he exited two stops before mine.
I contemplated how difficult his life must be as I watched him struggle to negotiate the bus steps while unable to see them due to his face pointing upward—and caressing the handrails as his foot searched for the next step down—but then I thought about how that perspective so reflects "my own worldview." I mean his life might not be at all difficult to him. He obviously has enough self-confidence to start up a conversation with two pretty girls and he's getting around town independently. Maybe to him, the perspective on his life is that: It is what it is.
Back to today, on the bus ride home Temporary Alice and her assumed sister Word Search Lady (whom I'm itching to rename Word Search Sally or Word Search Sister) were aboard, sitting near enough to each other, but not speaking to each other, as is their modus operandi.
At a subsequent stop, a lady got on and took the seat in front of Temporary Alice, and turned around to face her. They chit-chatted while Word Search Sister looked on and listened in—smiling and nodding her head as if she were participating in the conversation vicariously through her sister. This is notable only in that she is usually heads down into her word search books enumerating letters out loud, but to herself.
Logorrhea was actually in the back of the bus, but she only spoke loudly enough to recognize her voice and catch a few words. She was talking to a child back there, so I was pretty sure nothing as outrageous as what usually comes out of her mouth would today. I put my ear buds in and turned up James Taylor's Christmas CD—just in case.
I ran out to Flex tonight, as there was a "special edition" of karaoke—Christmas Karaoke—going on. I didn't realize it, but found out when I got there that you had to sing a Christmas (holiday) song if you signed up tonight. Not that I ever sign up. I just go to watch and listen and sing from the sidelines.
At the time of my arrival, I had a drink and took in the entirety of the "crowd":
- the bartender
- the guy who always sits at the bar, and almost always talks about Jesus
- David (one of the emcees)
- Bob (the other emcee)
- Dave (who is always at karaoke irrespective of what night it's offered, and who had signed up to sing, "Christmas in Dixie"), and
- Ian (who is somewhat of a karaoke regular, albeit not as regular as Dave, and had signed up for a song that I didn't recognize—so can't remember the name of—but it did have holiday words in it)