Don't you love taking a morning walk pushing your precious wee child in the stroller, only to come upon a standoff with three cops surrounding two angry-looking young guys? Angry-looking young guys who are speaking angrily to the cops as they start moving away from them, towards me. Do I have some kind of sixth sense for putting my child in the midst of potential gunfire? Or is it just my overactive imagination?
A woman's sudden serrated voice chops my typical walking downtown reverie. I start. Are you sleeping?!? she nearly yells into a cell phone. Well, go back to sleep! I'll call back later.
She is walking fast and gets too far ahead of me for to hear any more, but I see the phone still up to her ear for quite a distance, so I'm guessing the person on the other end is still not sleeping.
At the wee downtown supermarket a little girl laughs at the roasting chickens circling on their spits. Froggie bum bums! Hahahahahha...
Those are chickens her mom says. The girl looks more closely at gently rotating creatures in the oven, incredulous. Chickens?
Outside again, on the edge of my consciousness I see somebody gesturing out of a car and someone walking towards me gesturing back to the person in the car. Just as I realize the person coming towards me is flipping off the driver in a good-natured way, I realize it is someone I know. The young plumber. He twinkles at me, "Hey!" I make nice back and keep walking and he keeps up the interchange with the driver, a friend I guess.
I feel a bit of a thrill, pleased that he has seen me in my hoodie and Vans, with my transition lenses darkened to cool shades, walking downtown, instead of rushing home from my middle-aged job with my ugly ID badge (which he inspected when he first came). I feel more comfortable passing him on the street than I do flirting while he plumbs the depths and contents of my hundred-year-old pipes, commenting on the amount of rice he discovered. "You guys really like rice, eh?" I said yes, thinking he must have noticed a bunch of burlap bags hanging around but no. Our pipes were full of rice apparently.