People I see

(Originally posted on September 7, 2006)

Some friends and I were just talking about what we think is TMI on some people’s websites, and I allowed as how I would be either furious or mortified (depending on what was written) if I found myself talked about on a website in a disparaging manner. So here I am, about to describe a bunch of people I don’t know! And some day, they’ll be searching for something on the Interwebs and come across this post, and… yeah. Am I too imaginative?

Speaking of people I see, Bill—did I pass you at Publix the other day? I was looking at this positively ancient woman, who had an under-bite of seriously, like, two inches. And I was wondering what (if anything) she finds it difficult to do, or if she doesn’t even notice because it’s a part of her, or did something happen to her health-wise, and how I hoped that there was somebody in the world who loved her fiercely and thought she was the bee’s knees… and then later I thought, “hey, that guy walking behind her looked kind of familiar… I wonder if …”. So; just asking. Didn’t mean to be rude if it was, I was just off in my weird little world of let’s imagine.

Anyway. Moving on.

So there are people that I see in the mornings sometimes as I’m walking the dog.

Some of them are still asleep. Coffee mugs in hand, they shuffle after their dogs like slow-moving Romero zombies. The dog stops, they stop. They stare at nothing, maybe sipping from their mug and maybe not… and when the dog moves on, they move on. They don’t even notice what their dog has done. Sniffed? Pooped? Eaten garbage? Killed a small child? They don’t notice. Their minds are probably on the chores the day ahead is going to bring them, or the fight they had last night, or what the name of that guy from that movie was. You know the guy. That one. With the face.

Sometimes I pass Jogger Girl. She’s always jogging (hence the nickname!) with her old dog, who is kind of chubby. He likes to jog, too. He always looks glad to be with her, eyes bright, tongue rolling out, tail up. We both smile, wave, pass by. One day I saw her going into her house, and it was a house that I’ve always thought was very cute. One story, shady yard, one of those gardeny-type flags out front.

There’s Lab Guy. I don’t know that he actually works in a lab… it’s just that I didn’t really have a name for him until I saw him carrying a lab coat one day. He’s always walking, quite purposefully, towards campus. The first few times he gave me a wide berth—worried about the large dog, perhaps? Now he stops and pets her some days, and always has a big smile and a warm “good morning.”

I pass people who don’t have their dogs on a leash. They always lean down, grab their little kick-dogs, and give me a dirty look. As if I’m the one doing something wrong?! What I want to say is, “lighten the fuck up! You’re the one too fucking stupid to have your tiny little rat dog on a leash!”… Instead, I always give them a ten-thousand watt smile and a very loud “Great morning, eh?” And then I stop and let Bridgett sniff around and maybe poop. So I get to show them that not only do I keep my well behaved dog on a leash, but I scoop the poop as well.

One day I saw a guy in a small side street off of 8th Avenue. He was throwing a tennis ball for his dog. I wondered if he was just stoned, or if maybe it was his ex-girlfriends dog and he was trying to get it to run out into traffic.

Some days I see people out working in their lawns (weekends, mostly) before it gets too hot. They’re mowing or using leaf blowers, apologetically glancing at the houses next door. They’re well aware they’re making way too much noise for 7:30 in the morning, but what are you going to do?

Trash day is always funny. People half dressed in PJ’s, barefoot and hair on end, rushing to get their trash cans out before the truck passes by. It used to be two-day-a-week trash pickup. But since the city switched to once a week, people panic more about getting that rotten food away from their front doors. I always nod at them, and smile. I can’t say I’ve never done the same thing. Sometimes the only way I remember it’s trash day is by going out to walk the dog and seeing the trashcans lined up down the block. Whoops!

There are many more people I see, many more that I’d like to ponder about. But I’m about to be late for work… and being that I work 1.5 miles away from my house, you’d think I could really be responsible enough to get my slack ass in there on time, huh.

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