A Series Of Anecdotes

Yesterday afternoon, as I exited the inconvenience store with a banana and a knock-off brand of Takis, I saw the older gentleman lift the cigarette receptacle off and run his good hand through the pile of old butts there. His other hand was bandaged from above his wrist over his fingers.

I went back inside and came out with cigarettes. I handed them to him.

“Whoa. My son is two hours late picking me up. I’m not going to lie. I’m dying for a cigarette!” He looked at me sheepishly.

“In that case, have twenty,” I said and laughed.
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Standing in line at Harps, I was fascinated by the woman in front of me. She was probably in her late 70s, dressed in frayed-bottom pants, a white jacket with bats, converse-style sneakers, and her hair was done up in a dazzling pile of twists and a red band. Her eye shadow was surprisingly dark, and her lashes were long. I could tell that she was interesting. For whatever reason, she needed to pay for her items in three batches, so I watched the clerk impatiently adjust. I could hear the audible exasperation of the person behind me in line. When the woman spoke, her voice surprised me. It was at least two octaves higher than what I expected, like a voice strained through piano wire. She piled her three orders into her cart and exited the store. As I put my groceries in the so-called trunk of my little car, I saw that she was loading her items into the trunk of a luxury car. Before I stopped myself, I walked over across the two aisles and stood about fifteen feet away from her. “Ma’am?” She turned, her eyes open and curious. “I just wanted to say that I love your style and that I think you’re beautiful.” She smiled, even though she wore a mask. The smile went up into her eyes. She laughed. She nodded and said in her peculiarly high voice, “Thank you, that made my day! No, my month!” We both laughed. I walked back to my car, curious about the woman with the colorful and vivid sense of style and superbly high voice. Another interesting person I’ll never know.
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Paraphrasing, someone wrote me and asked me, “…why I thought everyone should see into my past life and from my point of view…” The weirdness of the question threw me off a bit. Is there another way to write about one’s life? Or from whose point of view should I write? Of course I write from my point of view! Implicit in everything I write is the idea that it’s my own opinion. There’s no escaping I’m prone to revisionism or self-imposed blinders to my stupidity at times. We all are. Equally valid is that I’m often the first to admit I’ve done something stupid. Previously, I wrote a post titled “Get Your Own Soapbox.” All of us have the option to share or not. We all have the option of using social media platforms, whichever we enjoy, ones that allow us to share in whatever capacity we’re comfortable. We have access to the internet, blogs, YouTube, and countless other means to express ourselves. As for me, I make an effort to avoid needlessly bludgeoning across moving lines of privacy and telling my story. Anyone who reads what I write can see that I make a concerted effort. It is a mistake to ask anyone to refrain from telling their story because it makes you uncomfortable. You have to trust that the people in your life will respect the boundaries and expectations they’ve created. All social media is like television. Change the station if you don’t want to see it. Fighting other people’s opinions seldom leads to a happy resolution. In some stories, you’re a villain. In others, a kind soul. If you live a great life, such a distinction won’t afflict you much. Life takes too much energy and effort to look over one’s shoulder constantly. Even if you live a perfect life, someone’s going to question your life, your motives, or your ideas. That’s in part because there is no single way to live one’s life and live it well.

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Today, I got another reminder that people are inscrutable. It’s just a fact of life that some people don’t like others having a good time when they aren’t happy or able to do the same. Both sets of people can be in the same environment, yet some are satisfied and happy, and some are miserable. Infrequently, I run up against people who resent that I find ways all day to enjoy the zaniness of things. And if there are no interesting things? I make them. I can’t turn it off. Those who go out of their way to impede others from enjoying themselves seldom realize that their actions and attitude convey their own unhappiness. They do NOT appreciate it if it’s pointed out to them, either. Yes, I know this from experience. 🙂 happiness or fun is not a zero-sum game. It can be created infinitely. Just like love, if you are receptive. For those people who try to stifle me, I feel sorry for them. Instead of focusing on others, just a little bit of that same energy transposed into being more creative for themselves would transform their days. It is one of the reasons I annoy people by saying that I don’t know what boredom is.
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“You can kick your feet but not your neighbor” is both a call to energy and happiness even when you experience a setback, but also a tacit reminder to be nice in the process of your day.
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“Routine saves us. Lunacy revives us.” – X
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“A box fan is one of the best intruder/break-in devices ever created. It won’t stop the break-in, but it will keep you from hearing it.” – X
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“Gambling is only a problem if you’re not winning. It seems obvious. We use the outcome to determine objectionability when in reality, it is the act itself.” – X

Love, X

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