Sunday, May 4, 2008

Just Another Day In Paradise

My morning began as it usually does, tossing my garbage in the trash dumpster in the driveway behind my building as I rushed to catch the bus. I have the routine down and rarely pay attention as I slam dunk the bundled trash into the bin. My aim was a bit off this morning and although I made the shot it barely missed the shoulder of the man who had decided the side of our garbage dumpster was the perfect place for him to relieve himself. He seemed startled and annoyed with me, ha, how dare I interrupt his public urination! Yep, it was going to be one of those days......

Trying to clear my mind of the trash incident I sat down at the bus stop and decided to focus on the cemetery across the street. It is a small, long forgotten cemetery that I find peaceful in a Gothic sort of way. The unkempt grounds and black iron gates set it apart from the lush green cemeteries that are abundant here. As I was studying one of the dead trees in there I noticed a woman in the midst of the grave sites doing her morning workout. I must admit that I myself stroll through there from time to time, but I am usually looking for dropped pods and other flora, never has it crossed my mind to unlatch the gate and enter to do an aerobics routine. But there she was, doing squats and jumping jacks, and I'm not sure what else, in full view of all the morning commuters and spirits who were trying to rest in peace. For some reason I found that more unsettling than the man peeing in my driveway. Out in the world for all of 10 minutes and I could tell my day was going to be a bit askew.

By the time I got on the bus and saw the psychotic man who is always on there I was ready for anything. But this morning he was acting more normal than usual (normal being a relative term). Not once did he face me and lift his shirt over his head, or stand up and announce each stop while sticking his tongue out at me. Instead he sat quietly in the front seat eating a huge bag of Frito's, every so often offering one to his imaginary friend. Hmmmm, it did seem like everything was out of whack today.

I muddled through my day feeling a bit like I was observing it all from a distance. Common things seemed disturbingly wrong and bizarre behavior seemed normal. I wonder if all these little oddities are encountered by everyone? Do these types of things go on everywhere and just get ignored by most of us or is my life just a freak show? I was contemplating these things as I was waiting for my friend to meet me at Starbucks after work. I found an empty table outside where we could hang out undisturbed, she could smoke and we could talk through the sunset. I was minding my own business, reading the Weekly, as I waited for her. Without warning a very unkempt, dirty, and I assume homeless man, approached me. He leaned forward and put his hand in my face to show me what he had to offer. For a mere $10.00 I could buy a half used book of Christmas stamps! He seemed bewildered as to why I wouldn't want to make such a purchase. As he walked away muttering to himself I had to remind myself that this was just another day in paradise.

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