Thursday, August 28, 2008

Some Everyday Vignettes

Here's some stuff that happened to me recently:

Yesterday I was walking the dog and we passed a car waiting at a stoplight. It was blasting hip-hop REALLY LOUDLY. A little old man wearing suspenders and a dapper hat was walking toward me. Actually he was kind of waddling with that old-man-rolling-gait shuffle. I smiled at him and suddenly he grinned, squatted down, pointed both his fingers in the air, and bobbed up and down in time to the music. Then he winked at me and shuffled onward.


The day before when I was walking, a woman was pulling out of the parking lot and trying to turn onto Bel Pre Rd. As she sat waiting, all of a sudden her trunk popped open. She put the car in park and started to get out when I saw she had a baby in the car. I called out, "Hey, I got it!" and Gypsy and I ran up and closed the trunk. The special thing was her face when she said thank you. She looked so happy and relieved.


Usually Gypsy and I walk at night when I get home from work but on Sunday we went for a walk during the day. At night everything is very peaceful and cozy. Sometimes you'll see someone bringing in the groceries or turning off their lawn hoses. For the most part, though, it's so tranquil and solitary, you could almost believe you're alone.

Sunday afternoon is the polar opposite. Everyone is running and shouting and having block parties. And that is a great energy too, although Gypsy and I had to stop several times because she was HOT. But as we were walking along, we passed one house where the garage door was open. Suddenly a man flung open the interior door and stalked out. He started gesticulating and yelling into the house about how much crap there was out there and how he was going to throw it all away and how nobody ever used THIS or THIS or THIS. He was just all anger. Any yearnings I might have had to believe that all the whos down in Whoville were living happy smiley lives were completely obliterated by his anger.

At first this thought made me look at the other doors we were passing. I wondered how many people inside were unhappy right at that moment. How many were scared? Or delirious with joy? It's not really a new thought - I wonder a lot when I'm sitting in the apartment how everyone in their little boxes all around me is feeling. But what was pretty new was that I focused back on the angry man and the family inside. Since Gypsy was looking pretty beat at that point, I decided to give her a break. I sat down on the curb across from the house. The man was still yelling and throwing things. So . . . well, it feels silly to write about, but I tried to focus on what exactly he was feeling and what he really wanted to communicate, you know, the whole backstory, the Why does nobody ever listen to what I am saying? and Why when I put something down in one place is it never there when I come back? and All this crap hanging around just reminds me how bound I am to this house and this family and this life that I am so so tired of kind of stuff.

Then I focused on the family inside. And then I tried to project some calm concilatory energy.

I don't know if it "worked." I don't know if it did anything at all. But . . . it did make me feel calmer and more conciliatory, so maybe that is something worthwhile in itself.


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