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Friday, March 19, 2010

But Sometimes You Have to Run in the Other Direction

The woman on the elevator turns to me. “I have a very serious illness you know,” she says.

No. I didn’t know that. But soon I will, and do you know why?

Because I have the face that launches a thousand confessions.

“I wanted to name my first dog Bowser,” says the man on the bus.

“Is that right,” I say.

There is a silence.

“You want to know why I didn’t?” he says.

“Sure,” I say. “Hit me.”

“Because my mom thought it was a terrible name.”

I look at him. By all appearances, he appears to be firmly entrenched in his 60s.

“Well what’s it to her?” I ask.

“EXACTLY,” he shouts. Heads turn and he leans in to whisper angrily. “Exactly. What the bricken bracken fargle raggen was it to her?”

He didn’t really say “bricken bracken fargle raggen” of course. He was a bit more vehement than that.

But you get the picture.

I assure him that Bowser is a perfectly reasonable name for a dog, and I get off the bus two stops earlier than I need to.

It’s good for my legs.

My father has this face as well, this tell-me-your-secrets face. “Does it kill me to listen?” he says. “No. You nod, you take them seriously, you let them speak. People just want to be heard.”

And so I let them speak. Because it doesn’t cost anything to listen. Because the more people there are, the fewer voices we hear. And because it is the way of my people.

And because it doesn’t kill me to listen; and when it does, the exercise does me good.




And in case no one’s mentioned it yet, it’s Friday, the day of the week we ask ourselves if it’s too late to quit our jobs and marry well. The answer to that, in most of our cases, is an unfortunate “yes”. But no fears! Our friends like us; and as long as I have a porch, you have somewhere to sleep.

But what about the weekend? If only there was a way to see into the future…

Let us consult this morning’s commute, shall we?

Dance Like a Monkey by the New York Dolls
Stigmata by Ministry
Country Funk by Southern Culture on the Skids
Sunday Papers by Joe Jackson
Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag by James Brown
Why Won’t You by The Rogers Sisters
Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere by The Who

And there you have it: stay indoors, drink plenty of fluids, and call that guy you said you’d call.

Have a great weekend, everyone; and if you don’t, I’ll be here tomorrow, too.

And I’ll be listening.

26 comments:

Simply Suthern said...

Can I tell you something? I have never ridden a city bus or any other form of mass transit. Imagine what I would know if I did. I'm gettin left behind I spose. Won't be stay'in indoors this weekend. It's spose to be beeuuutiful here. Have a great weekend.

Mandy's Kidding said...

"Because I have the face that launches a thousand confessions."

Haaa! Great line. And I totally relate. I think it's a nice-face because people intuitively know that you'll just sit there and politely listen. I get a lot of confessions too. It's a curse.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Wow, I wish more people had your attitude towards life and people. The world would be a better place. And yes, I'm serious.

Suzyhayze said...

I just took a decongestant that makes me feel like I'm going to have a heart attack so I had to take a Valium to combat the induced nervousness and now I think it's only 10:40 my time so I can't start drinking yet.

I guess I'll just leave my confession and run in the other direction!

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

"we ask ourselves if it’s too late to quit our jobs and marry well. The answer to that, in most of our cases, is an unfortunate “yes”."

You slay me Pearl.

But damn if that isn't true. Happy Friday.

Ms Sparrow said...

I had a friend who named her little poodle-cross Bowser back in the 80's. She's had two dogs since then--Reswob amd Wobser. Bowser sounds like a really good name in comparison!

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Great Jeebly Jeebus, me too. I do in-home estimates for a moving company and a recent customer of mine shared in detail never even imagined by the most anally fixated how thoroughly and carefully her natural practitioner used to administer colonics. I had known her about 11 minutes.

sage said...

Forgive me, Sister Pearl, for I have sinned... wanna know what I did? :)

The mad woman behind the blog said...

Hmmm. Did you see 30 Rock last night? You could be the new face of KableTime!
Hi my name is Mads Mom and I am a TV addict.

I must have "that" voice b/c I get that at work ALL the time.

Pat said...

You have a gift, Pearl. "And because it is the way of my people." I liked that. You sound Native American there.

The Retired One said...

Oh, you aren't kidding me, Pearl...you love that because you can use all those confessions for blog material!!!! (and we love it!)

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I have a confession to make. I haven't worn underwear all week. I am just too frickin' lazy to go downstairs and do a wash? What? You were looking right at me. I HAD to tell you that. Oh and that I once shot a man in Reno. Just to watch him die.

savannah said...

*sigh* i so know this feeling, sugar! an old friend,for whom english was a second language, once said to me, you should have been a psychologic doctor because i listened so well! but, it is great blog fodder now! xoxoxo

(i can hear dr. frasier crane saying...i'm listening.)

Kevin Musgrove said...

The empathic are allowed no illusions...

...but we do get to hear some astonishing stories!

Laoch of Chicago said...

The fact that other people find you empathetic is really quite wonderful if you take the long view.

Douglas said...

I always wanted to name a dog... "cat" or maybe "stupid". But I no longer have any desire to have a pet. Am I a bad person?

Never mind, I don't care. You have such a kind face... have you considered plastic surgery to make it look meaner? That might reduce the confessions a bit. It certainly works for me.

Lo said...

Pearl, you are an angel.....hardly anyone will listen and people do need to be listened to once in a while.
You are also a brilliant angel....."bricken, bracken, fargel, raggen" is totally genius and much better than "piss, shit, fuck". Can I borrow it, please?

darsden said...

You just need to go ahead and hang your shingle out Pearl ;-) Happy Friday to you.

Secretia said...

For me it's always better to listen to people if there is time. Even if I don't like them I still learn something.

Secretia

Douglas said...

Secretia has obviously never chatted with a crazy person... or my sister... but I repeat myself.

Flea said...

Dang, Pearl. I'm coming to sleep on your porch next January. Will you sit outside and listen to me?

Joanna Jenkins said...

"Because I have the face that launches a thousand confessions."

You know what Pearl, you kinda do :-) It's a good face, a kind and caring face. I guess it's the price you have to pay ;-)

Happy weekend.

Ruthibelle said...

Ahhh pearl, and I have the familar face... everyone knows me from somewhere, and the tell-me-your-sad-story face... I hear a lotta that daily.


But, like you said. Does it cost ot listen... no.

Zaedah said...

We must share a genetic line of code because I have that face too. I've tried to scrub it off but they don't make abrasives strong enough.

CatLadyLarew said...

I, on the other hand, am the one who tends to spew out too much information. Good thing I don't ride the bus with you... then again, you'd get plenty of exercise!

Greenfingers said...

Isn't Bowser also the name of the lizard type thing in the Mario games?!
And the New York Dolls? Oh YEAHHHHH!!!