blogging on the corporate dollar
on the bus:
There’s a man across the aisle from me. He’s staring straight ahead eyes wide open and he’s vibrating. He looks like what they must mean when they say shell-shocked. He’s skipping like a cd, stuck in idle. This reminds me of a dog I once saw that kept turning in circles like dogs do when they’re about to sit down, only this one never sat down just kept spinning and spinning. At first it was funny in a way, but then I just wanted it to stop to grab it by the shoulders and say, “Sit please I beg you.” I was getting so nervous just watching this. We can’t handle this kind of staccato. Suddenly, the man turned his head to the left and was still. Relieved, I was able to look away.
There’s a man sitting as close to the driver as he can get. He is talking to her loudly about the evils of the world, and how to live according to God’s will. Every bus needs one of these. I used to think that adults talked a lot because they had something important to say, wisdom that they knew you desperately needed, now I think they just like to hear themselves talk. Stuck in the mode of a teacher, they don’t even know if you’re listening having lost their innate ability to read interest on the faces of others, to know when to STOP.
I’m on my lunch break from my first day temping at a technology company in a downtown highrise. I’m sitting in the sun eating a sandwich and wanting to call someone and tell them my whereabouts, but everyone is working so I chew a piece of gum instead and let a guy try to talk me into giving him money so he can go to Pheonix, Arizona. Hell, I’d like to go to Pheonix too, but I can’t, and I can’t send him there either. He tells me again and again that he is not a hoodlum. The thought never even crossed my mind. He’s no more of a hoodlum than any of us sitting on sidewalks eating sandwiches and pretending to be grown-ups all the while secretly laughing because you tricked everyone and secretly worrying that you haven’t. I call my mom and she tells me she is at Costco stocking up on food for the end of the world. I ask her what I’m supposed to do when the food runs out. She laughs and says she can’t help me with that since her fallout shelter is all the way in Washington. This makes me realize that she isn’t really too concerned about the end of the world, but I always knew this. She is pragmatic. One time we were caught in a tiny boat in a lightening storm in the Florida Keys. She told me to put on my tennis shoes so that the lightening would be repelled from my body. I started crying absolutely convinced we were going to die, she looked at me and said calm as anything, “A coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave man dies but one.” I was eight, but she was right.