Sometimes it's the strangest, most insignificant moments when time slows down and I notice everything, all the details of the world outside of me AND the details inside. Yesterday, one of those moments happened, driving my friend's SUV. A man was waiting to cross the street, a man I've seen at the Drop In Centre. I first noticed him because he's exactly the kind of hippie-looking guy I fell for when I was younger: long brown hair, intelligent eyes, long, sharp nose, pretty full beard that somehow echoes the same sharpness and angles of his whole face. He had a black eye the first time I saw him, and he always keeps his hood up. He seems like a loner, at least in the context of the centre. He doesn't drink coffee, so I only really engage with him at meal times when I'm too busy serving everyone to chat. He's always very gracious, makes sure to thank us after he's eaten. He winked at me once, after I smiled at him, and my body responded with a teenage jolt.
Anyways, it was him waiting to cross the street. And I cringed, hoping he wouldn't recognize me in the SUV with the toddler in the back seat. I had to slow down for a pick-up truck that two young men were pushing into the traffic. The guy at the back was wearing a white tank-top and jeans, no jacket despite it being November, and he's really straining to move that beast. Whatever's in the back of the truck is covered with a tarp, lumpy from the cargo. The second guy has the driver's door open, and he's pushing while he steers. He's wearing a sweater. And these boys are working their asses off.
In this moment, I'm all adolescent uncertainty. Not sure if I should stop to make sure I don't hit the pick-up or just keep going since there are two lanes and they should be in the one I'm not. But mostly I just want to keep driving so the cute guy from the Drop In Centre doesn't see the frumpy mum I really am.