Thursday, February 24, 2011

Are you my driver?

Strange thing happened today, at the post office. I was there to mail a few books off to BookMooch people, and the place was nearly empty. Just me and the man in front of me. And then a woman hurried in with a whoosh of air. "It's snowing!" she said. "Snowing but not sticking. Snow, snow, snow!" I turned and looked at her. She was shorter than I, and probably a few years younger, with shiny brown hair, a pleasant enough face, and a large bosom, which was unconfined. She was wearing a stiffish jacket, however, so it wasn't terribly noticeable. I smiled and turned back. And then got my turn at the counter. While I was dealing with the postal employee, I saw this woman staring at me from the line. Really staring, too, and really at me. Not with any sort of rigidity, or frozen glare, or anything, just looking directly at me without turning her eyes away. It made me a tiny bit uncomfortable looking back at her, so I looked away. Then I got my change, thanked the employee, and was starting out the door.

"Wait, wait!" I heard. "I'll just be a minute, it won't take a minute. Please wait!" I turned and looked back at the woman who was hurriedly thrusting her letter at the postal employee I had just left. "I just need one stamp," she said. And then turning to look at me, she called pleadingly, "Wait for me!"

I didn't really know what to do. So I waited. She was clearly, it seemed to me, not completely compos mentis -- or, if she was, she was at least unusual in her behavior. I was uncomfortable, but not freaked out or anything. So I waited. In a moment she hurried up to me.

"I'm done!" she announced. "Just needed one stamp. Just mailing my electric. We can go now. Let's go! Out into the snow!"

"Why did you want me to wait for you?" I asked gently. She looked at me, squinting her eyes.
"You were leaving without me," she said. "You're driving me today. And you were ahead of me, and you weren't waiting, so I asked you to wait and you waited. You're my driver. You're driving me."

"No, I'm not your driver," I said. "I've never seen you before. "

"You're not? Are you SURE?" she wailed, quietly, looking very distressed.

"Yep, I'm sure," I said. I pointed at the Buick. "See, that's my car. I drove in it all alone today. You weren't with me."

"Oh, there's my car!" she exclaimed, pointing at a large, clean, bright red SUV of some recent type. She hurried over to it, saying something about, "that's a relief!" unlocked the door and got in the driver's seat. In a moment, she was driving away.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Snow! Fat, wet snow!

Near miss this morning on my way in to work -- not out on the snowy freeway, either, where I might have expected it, but right at the driveway to the parking lot here at work. And it wasn't my fault, either -- or at least not entirely my fault. I was approaching my turn, and slowing and signalling, but I guess the car behind me was only slowing enough to allow me to make the turn -- he wasn't slowing seriously. And I was sort of thoughtlessly approaching the turn, when I saw that a pale champagne-colored car without its headlights on was approaching me from the opposite direction. Had I made the turn, it would have T-boned me. And I have no real excuse as to why I didn't see it. Nor why it was not lit! So I braked, instead of turning, to wait for it to pass, and my follower, who, as I said, was only slowing lightly, had to brake sharply to keep from plowing up and over me. This, apparently, angered him, even though it was his own silly fault for not braking when my brake lights and signal came on. Guess he didn't see the small pale car either. Anyway, he swerved out to the right, and LAID on the horn while I made my turn. Still holding that horn down as I swung into a parking place. Merely expressing his bad nature, I guess!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


What would happen if I were to go to a pet store and buy a big bag of goldfish, and dump them all into the pond below my balcony? I'm sure most of them would be eaten by wildlife (do nutria eat fish?) and that I would see those herons a few more times! But would some of them survive? And grow? And keep growing until they were too big to be eaten by a heron and flashed their orange scales at me a few times every year?

This is all brought on by my looking out the window this morning while making my second cup of coffee and seeing some brightly-colored something that was floating in the water just below the surface -- sort of a reddish orange color. Made me think of it. Also made me mad to see someone's garbage in my pond! Don't they know that I do my daydreaming while looking at it every day? Do they think I want to daydream about their trash?!

I'm also wondering what the timetable is for Loud Duck Conversations -- since it has been a long quiet Sunday morning, without even a quack. They are all out there silently gliding, or standing on their heads eating off the bottom, but no one is uttering a peep. But when someone starts, they will all, immediately and universally, join in, and keep it going as long as their quackers work. I'm thinking it's like dogs at night. But what sets one of them off?

I'm enjoying my hot cup and my fluffy bathrobe for a few minutes more, before dressing and setting off into the world. Heading for the library, for the Salvation Army, and possibly for Fred Meyer's. Not certain about that last, because I don't need anything right this minute. And can certainly wait to shop. I was thinking, when I got up this morning, how lovely it would be to get dressed promptly and walk over to Sully's to read the paper with that gorgeous dark furry coffee -- but instead of talking myself out of it, I merely allowed time to pass while drinking my own pretty darn good coffee. And now it is really too late for breakfast. So you see, procrastination has its useful place.

Sip -- mmmm. Looking around and thinking of where the book bag is, and where the books are -- most of them neatly in their Finished Books stack in the bedroom, but I know there is at least one on the ottoman in the living room, and one in here on top of the printer. So I will gather those up, and then get out a big garbage bag and dump a few trash cans into it -- and what else? Well, dress, and comb my hair, duh.

Any news? Not really -- life goes on. Joe is being a Young Adult Male, so my phone calls from him range from Two Weeks Without One, to Three in One Hour, all begging for a ride downtown, later on tonight. "What for?" I asked. "Uhh -- you don't want to know," he replied (honestly, at least). So I blithely turned him down (three times!) making him angry with me, I have no doubt, and know that he won't call me again until he forgets this, which will happen a lot sooner than you might think.

Otherwise -- I am doing fine, still gaining weight like a prize sow, but otherwise healthy! (sigh...) I am doing an hour of yoga three-four times a week, and have been since the year began, so I am very happy about that, and hope that I will soon be less crippled up and stiff and cumbersome, and have less pain. Am also in the midst of a big Clearing Things Away bout at work, which I'm hoping will be completed this week, and then everything will be caught up, tidy, identified and put away. Yes!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Still Largely Asleep

I think that the reason -- or at least one of the reasons -- that I feel so relaxed and sleepy for so long on a weekend morning, as opposed to a weekday morning, is because I don't rapidly change the temperature of my face, first hot water and then cold, within minutes of standing upright. Ordinarily I stand up, with my eyes still closed, strip off any pajamas I have on, shuffle into the bathroom, still eyes closed, and climb into the shower. A brief and very hot shower -- maybe four minutes, and then that's all there is in the hot water heater -- and out, and then I sluice cold water several times over my face, and once over the back of my neck. This not only "wakes me up" but takes away a sort of layer of distance, or of comfort-padding between me and the rest of the world. Weekends, I shuffle somnolently around, in my pajamas, eyes still mostly shut, looking out the window and making the coffee and all, in a very detached way, with my face still in the baby-pout it no doubt wore all night. I've been up now for nearly half an hour, and it is just starting to wear off.

My coffee is gone, and I'm thinking I'd like a second cup this morning. I just heard a shower start up somewhere -- sounds like next door, but you can't really tell, with HVAC systems, where the sound you are hearing is really originating. I'm in the middle of a sorting project here in the office, and am nearing the end of the painting project in the bathroom -- just some touch-up to do to the wall cabinet. But otherwise it is an Officers -- Free, For the Use Of sort of day.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Driving into the Sun

Driving in to work this morning was very difficult for about half the drive; then when I merged onto the freeway, changing direction by 90 degrees, it was suddenly so easy! The weather and the time had conspired against me -- it is a very clear, east-windy day, and I left the house at a different time than usual -- and the sun was a fiery flaming ball of intensely brilliant pinky-orange light, just above a hands width from the horizon, so directly in front of me. Impossible to look at, impossible to see anything else. And I was driving straight down a highway which runs right into it. Why build a highway that runs directly east into the rising sun? Why not vary it a bit so that the sun is on the left or right side of the windshield, and not directly in the middle? I'm sure that would have been possible, and perhaps even easy for the Corps of Engineers or whoever designed our road system.

But that is not the question which fills my mind this morning. No. I want to know if I am somehow unlike everyone else, physically, that is, since I was surrounded, during this difficult and blinding journey, wearing sunglasses and with the visor down, and with tears running down my cheeks, surrounded, (I say) by cars going about ten-fifteen miles faster per hour, than I. How is that possible?

Really, how is that possible? Do they buy their sunglasses at some fancy-schmancy store that sells blackout shades? Are their eyeballs seared at birth? Do modern cars have windshields that filter out light? What?