The April print calendars have arrived. Celebrate all my favorite holidays with me (including The Boss‘s birthday). Pick your favorite paper size (mine is “letter”, but don’t let that influence you) and print it out at work.
A girl is sitting in a coffee shop. She has a pad of lined paper and a book laid out in front of her. The top sheet of paper is marked with a date – a week ago – and filled up with two or three long paragraphs. I caught myself reading the first sentence: “So I changed everything I believe because of a boy I met.” She pecks at her cell phone for awhile before turning to the book. She opens the book and reads a few pages of poetry, then slips a pen under the first several used pages of her pad and writes in verse. She lets go of the pen, letting the first pages fall and cover over her writing, and returns to the book. She switches between the book and the pad every few minutes, holding her place in the book with her left hand when she’s writing, and touching the pad with her right hand when reading.
A gang of runners passed by. They wore yellow hooded sweatshirts like the one’s my middle school track team wore. Some of the sweatshirts said “True Stories” on the front. I like the David Byrne film by that title, so I stopped a runner that was falling behind and tried to convince him to give me a sweatshirt. He said he couldn’t, but that he would get me in touch with the person who gave him his. He dialed a cell phone and gave it to me.
“Hello? This guy says you can get me one of those True Stories t-shirts.”
I was surprised that it was TYD on the phone. She said, “Yes, I can get you a sweatshirt. But, do you like that band?”
“It’s a band?”
I found myself watching a video for one of the band’s songs, and it was awful. I was disappointed, because that meant the movie would never be re-released in theaters.
I navigate by intuition from Home Depot to Lowe’s Hardware — up to 4th Avenue, follow the first detour sign around the construction and into Chinatown, turn right on Jackson. Will Jackson put me on Rainier? I’m not sure. …past 11th and 12th. There it is. I take the soft right onto Rainier; and as I’m turning the wheel, I’m thinking the words, “Here’s Rainier.” I begin that short thought while the car is pointing east and finish with the car heading south. In the course of that turn – in the course of that thought – the meaning of the words shift and become vaguely more profound. The Mountain – Mt. Rainier – is painted across the sky in front of me and it seems like, if I were to forget the hardware store and stay on Rainier Avenue, it would lead me right up to the edge of a glacier.
Later, I was at the waterfront with Samantha, and a lone tourist pointed Mt. Rainier out to us and said something that I didn’t quite catch. Samantha heard it as, “It’s a nice snow-tipped peak.”
I was just skimming through the new issue of Tablet, a free magazine that’s distributed around town, and I learned something unusual about one of my neighbors – a woman who’s working at the reservoir construction across from my apartment building.
She’s a flagger. She stands on the corner with a reversible Stop/Slow sign and directs traffic whenever the big trucks come barreling in or out of the park with their loads of gravel. I come and go a lot during the day, and when I walk by I usually nod hello.
Say What? is Tablet’s man on the street column. They ask a dozen people the same question and print the answers alongside a photo of the interview subjects. The flagger was one of the people that they talked to. There’s a photo of her on the job – standing with her sign while, in the background, a truck maneuvers around my intersection’s traffic circle. The question is, “What is the most disgusting thing you have ever put in your mouth?” She answered, “Monkeys in South Africa. I picked out the BB bullets.” Maybe I can use that as a conversation starter. I can ask her what monkey tastes like. Maybe not.
After a car screeched past and clipped a parked motorcycle, a representative of the street fair strolled out into the street. He assessed the scene and waved off the onlookers. No one is hurt. Nothing to see. He stood on the median and talked on a cell phone. A police car pulled up, lights flashing. He got off the phone and talked to the police, nodding his head confidently. The entire time that he was performing these duties, he wore a two-foot tall crown of balloons.
I once saw a crowd clear a path because a man wearing a beanie with an umbrella sticking out of the top said they should.
We cede authority to anybody wearing a t-shirt that says “Staff” across the back and give up claim to any ground that’s been marked off with sacred orange cones.
The Human Statue takes a short break
By the way, my favorite joke (probably stolen from some obvious movie or book) goes like this:
“What’s a non sequitur?”
“It’s a random word or phrase. Something dropped in somewhere with no context.”
“You mean like ‘fish’?”