Saturday, October 19, 2013

early rising

I woke up yesterday morning, as I do every morning, to the sound of my alarm clock at 6am and blearily noticed there was a new text message time-stamped 5:45am from my Ari-love saying simply, "Are you awake?"

I called her immediately and we went on to have one of our crazy discussions, this time primarily about the sudden collapse of her and her partner's dojo plans the day before, the drama and trauma that ensued, and the sudden discovery of a new and better place for their dream-cum-soon-to-be-a-reality.

I put water on for tea as we said our first hellos, stood by the stove waiting for the teapot to move on from wheeze to gurgle to full-blown whistle, poured the water and spooned out the honey and finally curled up on my desk chair, as is my wont, as I listened to her tale of woe and redemption. (No dramatics here, I swear, just keep on walking.)  And then I happened to glance at the clock in the lower right-hand corner of my trusty little computer and saw that it read 6:03am. I did a double-take, thinking somehow my computer had gone slow or something, before realizing that in fact I had been woken up by Ari's 5:45am text message, not my 6am alarm clock.

And I smiled because I was so pleased to be talking to my Ari-love, and so pleased that my infamous tendency for early-rising is what had allowed this conversation to happen in the first place, and so pleased that my quick-to-waken self had been roused by her text message, thus giving us an extra fifteen minutes of talk time before I had to cut us short and get ready for work.

bridge, 10.19.13

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

bus conversations, overheard

Yesterday, it was one of those people: the ones we avoid making eye contact with, hoping we will remain magically invisible, untainted by their imbalanced minds. Except this particular one of those people was one of the friendliest of any people I've ever seen. He smiled huge smiles and greeted everyone who got on and off the bus and blessed us with his rosary and his love of Jesus Christ. He complimented the mothers on their well-behaved children and asked the children about their classes and their favorite colors and insisted on telling the bus driver (repeatedly) that he was the best bus driver, the most accomplished driver, he'd had the pleasure of traveling with. And what was so sad about all of this was that we all, myself largely included, continued to treat him as one of those people with whom its best to avoid eye contact. The children ignored him, the parents silently condemned him, and I buried my nose in my (admittedly very compelling) book. Eventually he got off the bus at 162nd Street and stood on the corner cheerily waving at us as we pulled away. And I've found myself thinking about this, tainted by his imbalanced mind, wishing I'd had the moral fortitude to catch his eye and warmly grin from ear to ear.

This morning was less tragic and more plain old awesome. Two kids, probably about five years old, got on the bus in the midst of a very serious discussion about zero. One boy, perhaps a little older, perhaps just more attuned to the abstract world, was explaining to the other boy that zero isn't just a number. That, in fact, zero is nothing, but nothing can be zero or else it is something. This seemed to blow the other boy's mind. In a good way.