Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stick Man

So...I'm standing in line at the local big box drug store with a hand full of basic everyday meds. I'm second in line standing a couple of steps behind the checkout stand. I don't like to crowd anyone when they have to use a wallet or a purse. I just want to be courteous and not make anyone nervous with money in their hand. I'm eyeballing the latest "worst beach body" and "love your natural hair color" headlines on the adjacent magazine rack and checking out the stuff the lady in front of me has on the checkout stand. She has four bottles of cheap wine and a big box of men's absorbent undergarments. Now, I am naturally curious and deviant and my imagination goes on some outrageous tangents which I wildly enjoy and keep me quite entertained. This time the tv in my head is trying it's best to concoct some extravagant story involving wine and adult diapers. I am no longer ogling Oprah's next great diet but my eyes are glazed over and I am just staring off into space while the movie director in my head is keeping me fully entertained with intoxication and absorbency.

Movement from the corner of my left eye snaps me out of my trance and before me walking down the little hallway in front of all the checkout stands is an older gentleman with a wonderful tweed jacket and matching hat and a really long red and white candy striped cane. From the quizzical look on his face and the fierce whipping of the cane it is readily apparent that the gentleman is significantly sight challenged. At this point there is still about 4 feet distance between myself and the checkstand as I am still waiting on wine/diaper lady. I notice I have been joined in line by two other patrons waiting their turn with the only checkstand open in the entire store. They have graciously and appropriately taken their stances some distance behind me, not crowding me in any way. Perhaps they are observing the space I have given the wine/diaper lady and are just following suit or perhaps they are just scared of the big bald white guy. Who knows. So Mr Cane keeps advancing toward me with his cane flitting back and forth like a barbershop metronome. I stand perfectly still. I don't know why. I even held my breath. I have no experience with this. I don't know the etiquette. I don't want to offend anyone. I don't want to startle Mr Cane but he keeps advancing on my like a mini tsunami. Maybe he will just pass by. What is his destination. What do I do. I stay frozen.

I am an Oak.

Mr Cane advances, his peppermint rapier sniffing it's path. And then it happens. The cane sweeps left just missing my shoe and I cheer inside as the dilemma has abated and Mr. Cane will at last find his place. Then to my horror I see the cane stop. It completely misses the checkstand and the magazine racks and the drink cooler and the shopping totes and all the other mindless stupid crap that is just laying there like a virus waiting for a host to come and give it life so it can go to your brain and suck up all the common sense and decency you possess. The tip quivers slightly and then the entire length of the stick bows slightly toward the right. I panic. My eyes dart wildly from side to side. Does anyone see this but me? I am an oak. I am an oak. WHACK! A direct hit, full force on my left shin just slightly above my ankle. I am wearing black denim jeans. There is barely a whisper of a sound but Mr Cane's super enhanced hearing and baby-like touch have detected a barrier. No words. No face of recognition. I am an oak. WHACK! Just above the knee this time with a definite, purposeful smite. Mr Cane advance a half step. Still no recognition. No acknowledgement. No words. I am an oak. WHACK! Ouch. Belt high, barely missing the more sensitive organs in the area. I am mortified. What to do? But then the light goes on in Mr Cane's face. He is pleased. His face relaxes. His wrinkles melt away. A slight smile, maybe a smirk, begins to appear in the right corner of his mouth. He stops, pivots very precisely on his right foot and steps straight up to the checkstand.

What! Oh no he didn't. But he did. Mr Cane is now second in line behind wine/diaper lady. This bring sooooooo many more problems. Do I say something? I can't say anything, he's blind. But even blind people need to be courteous too, don't they? I look around. People are staring. The giant elephant in the room is plain for all to see. My mind races. Courtesy. Tragedy. Humility. Finally, my mind finds a solution. I grab the elephant by the ears and I drag that make-believe unspoken behemoth abruptly, swiftly and righteously to the back of the store and I stare a ice cream labels till everyone involved has left the building.

What would you do?

Late Night With Great Scott

My career has no set work schedule and often requires me to be available late into the night. I absolutely relish the world between about midnite and 4 am. It's like having the whole world to yourself. It's quiet. And slow. And you don't have to share. As long as you don't get hungry and need a favorite restaurant to scratch a particular itch. Then it blows.

I stepped on one of my daughters toes recently. Figuratively. Even your kids don't need your opinion all the time. I'm a fixer of problems. It's my DNA. It's just what I do. But most people don't want their problems fixed and if they do they will ask. That's a difficult lesson to learn and re-learn. Sit quietly. Keep your mouth shut. Answer only when asked upon. It's a first grade lesson that I often forget. And then I feel bad when I do it.

I made about 3/5 of a Perry the Platypus costume for my kid tonite. And loved every second of it.

Virgin Territory

Ok. I'm taking my first baby step in blogging. I have many family and friends who blog various topics so I understand the idea of blogging I just hadn't considered it worthy of effort. Maybe I've changed my mind. From my past blog readings it seemed that blogging was reserved for those who rant, complain and generally bitch about everything. The same folks who fill out surveys when they dislike something but never when they actually have something good to say. Now I've seen you can post myriad things and even have a chance to help some people along the way. Not to mention getting some things off your chest. I have many thoughts and ideas that never leave my frontal lobe so maybe a blog will be a kind of treasure chest of my synapse activity. Or maybe I'll just bitch about the world.

I will write about my kids. I have none of my own and four that I adore. That story will come later. I will write about my wife. Wife seems lame. Not the actual wife, just the word. It doesn't define the relationship very well. How about if my wife is not on this earth then I don't want to be here either. That sounds closer to how I feel.

I was watching Legends of the Fall earlier. There are two sources of wisdom from this movie that strike home somehow.

First is how someone can be so much larger than life and so vivacious that people are drawn uncontrollably to them only to find themselves miserable for doing so. It was described as the larger than life person being a rock and all others die beating themselves against it. In life it appears that the rock is the one causing pain but in reality it is the complete opposite. That others kill themselves trying to achieve a foothold where there is no purchase. That they burn themselves out trying to stand in the flame. Trying to follow in footsteps that swallow you whole.

Second is how sometimes a person can be like water in the crack of a great stone. The water freezes and cracks the stone. Over and over and over and over. It is neither the fault of the water any more than it is the fault of the stone. Sometimes it's just your role to be the stone or the water in a relationship. Some of the greatest are tumultuous and violent and shine brightest just before they break. And they always break.

Catch me again another day. I will share. Well, I'll try anyway.