he was waiting in line for the bus. when it arrived, i walked behind him to get on and instantly noticed his sway, as though his one leg had no knee joint, no bend. like under his pant leg was a long 2×4.
he got on and stood right under the emergency exit pop-up on the roof near the back. i sat to his right on a seat and as the bus started moving, he waved his hands lightly in the breeze that was now coming into the bus. the sun just barely shining in.
i watched his hands and the expression on his face and thought two completely opposite things,
1. how wonderful it is that simple joy exists. the breeze on his fingertips makes him happy.
2. as i sat there, raccoon eyes from last nights mascara, hand reaching in and out of a giant bag of chips, suitcase between my legs, rumbling down west broadway next to a guy that smelled like a 500 acre pig pen, i wanted to tell him,
“dude, i feel you.”
because he was also looking pretty longingly at the passing sky and it kinda looked like his hands waving around the breeze were the first visual signs of his plan to escape the bus via the emergency exit.
and maybe, he thought, if he escaped the bus, he could escape other things. it looked like he had it pretty rough, like reality had seriously jilted him or he was trying to survive a disintegrating relationship or maybe he was just hungry and looked mad about it (again, i feel you.) but he looked in need of escape and i sympathized.
not because my life is wretched or really warrants any sort of complaint at all, it’s a rad gig, but nobodies life is devoid of brokenness. at least mine isn’t.
so i might not be able to relate to his specific pain or trouble, but i can relate to being broken.
and he looked broken.
i felt like i was watching someone try to remain calm and enjoy something small so as to avoid standing in a pool of new tears because they just don’t know how to be strong anymore.
and if that’s what he was doing, “dude, i feel you.” i nearly choked up right there on the bus thinking about it.
i get it.
but i also know that something’s gotta give. this sympathizing doesn’t need to come from a present state because i can always do something about the circumstances i’m in. everyone can. so i need to think (slash, pray) my way to a better grasp on reality. get a thick attitude-perspective adjustment so i’m not blowing out my own candles then grumbling about how there’s no light and “i can’t see anything in this damn room!” (that is, no word of a lie, what i’ve found myself doing this week. it’s stupid.)
so i’m going to do that.
i’m going to go down to the sea, bring a whole pumpkin pie and a fork, and sit. and i will write all the things i am grateful for until either the sun goes down, or i get cold, or i can’t think of anymore things to write down.
or i puke from too much pie, which is likely.
last year, thanksgiving was spent by the sea (turkey + wreck beach + homeless people), so i’ll continue with the theme but relish in my solitude and give God the shot He’s probably been waiting for to show me where all of His blessings have fallen in my life. i haven’t been quiet enough for Him to get a word in.
it’s my thanksgiving writing project plus pie-eating project.
i think it’ll be great.
i’ll let you know how it goes.