Thursday, February 15, 2007

So much, so early

I think there is a story a minute for everyone, if you take the time to notice. This morning was packed with little stories.

I went to a local diner before work to meet up with a friend. As it is Thursday, I picked up the free local paper (which comes out every Thursday) to see what was going on in town. Every time I read through it, I have hope for Manchester.

As I sat and read, and sat and read, and sat and read, it became clear that my friend wasn't going to show up. Normally this might make me a little sad. But I had my paper, I was in a great local spot, the people watching was fantastic, and I was happy to just be there. So much so that I pondered making this a Thursday ritual. I ordered some peanut butter pancakes and had a lovely solo meal.

About 10 seconds after getting back to my car and pulling away from the curb, a woman flagged me down. Upon rolling down my window, she asked if I could give her a ride, saying she'd twisted her knee and was having trouble walking. The fleeting thought of "what if she's an axe murderer or thief" passed through my head (I am so well trained), but it's really cold out, and she wasn't carrying anything like an axe. She didn't even have a winter coat on. So I told her sure, I'd give her a ride (I guess I'm only so well trained).

She got in the car, favoring her left knee and gave me directions on where she needed to go. It was just up the street, and I pretty much knew off the bat that she simply didn't want to walk in the cold. Can't blame her. She smelled of stale smoke, and hopped from one topic to another, trying to both make small talk and justify the need for a ride. I small talked back. It wasn't altogether unpleasant, minus the stale smoke smell, which clings to everything.

Getting out the car, she favored her right knee, and commened that she'd lost 20 pounds. I guess that is one way to say goodbye... And off I went, back on my way to work. The whole exchange took maybe seven minutes. I have a feeling I am not the first to act as her taxi.

And now I am at work. Trying to get enthused, with a modicum of success. A colleague actually thanked me today for one of the projects I've been working on (which, to my wife's chagrin, has been the subject of many dinnertime conversations). Thank you is used all too sparingly around here. It's more about trying to avoid blame, which seems like a fairly toxic way to interact.

So that is my morning thus far. This evening I'm heading to the gym to run, as it is too windy outside to hit the streets. I got new sneakers recently, which are sort of a bright pink/orange (hey, they were on sale, and they were exactly the style I wanted). So I'll neon my way through a few miles. I have a 10 mile race coming up in about 1.5 months, and my entire goal is to beat a 10 minute mile. In the short term, I'm trying for a few sub-10 minute mile runs in the next month. They won't be 10 miles long, but it'll be good practice. I'm defninitely a bit of a turtle. A happy turtle, but a turtle nonetheless.

1 comment:

Mr. Satan A. Chilles said...

I seem to remember some story about a turtle (or something like that) winning a race. Turtles, to use a cliché I'm too old to use, 'rock'.

Best of luck getting ready for that 10 miler not far away. Glad you didn't let cold weather hold you back.

And your story about being a taxi diver for the unknown sounds familiar. I drove a total stranger, a lady who also smelled of stale smoke, to a hospital across town in a snow storm a few years back. She was OK, she just had an endless story about having to visit her sick daughter, and how the buses weren't running. Wondered if I was going to end up as serial killer victim #74, too. Nope, I too lived to tell the tale, obviously. Funny, it's probably more dangerous running a 10-miler!