I enjoy humans. I really do. Humans are some of my favorite things.
But sometimes, humans are annoying.
Take, for example, the woman in the mall parking lot who not only laid on her horn but gave me the finger as she drove by. Apparently my reverse lights were enough to convince her that she was in imminent danger. Had she been as observant as she thought she was, she would have seen that my car may have been in reverse but that my brakes were on.
Or how about the woman behind me at the grocery store? She matched me, aisle for aisle, speaking to herself. She chose the moment I was pulling eggs from the cooler, however, to go from talking to herself to talking to me, announcing in an aggrieved and disrespectful tone, “Excuse me! I said, EXCUSE ME!!!”
Never argue with anyone crazier than yourself. “So sorry,” I said, stepping aside.
Yes, there was a time there, Friday afternoon, where I felt my love for my fellow human beings wane.
Back at home, soup and salad for lunch, I sat out on the porch on the second floor and stared into the park across the street. Every winter, the Parks people set up two full-sized hockey rinks, complete with boards and nets. Neighborhood children pushing folding chairs, twenty-somethings playing broomball clutching beers, hysterical dogs chasing stray snow clumps are visible at various times during the week. And because the fire department is less than a mile from my place, it’s not unusual to see firetrucks pull up, handsome young men falling out of them, skate-shod, hockey sticks in gloved hand.
Today it’s the firefighters on the ice. I pick out my favorite and invent the many ways we meet…
And then I saw Mirelle. Mirelle lives next door, rents from us. She’s a tiny woman, a friendly and funny woman. She is sprinkling Ice Melt on the sidewalks on the park side.
I open the window.
Like the drug dealer I interrupted last year, she quickly spins around, looking everywhere but up.
She looks up, finding me in the window. “Hey, Pearl!”
“Hey,” I shout. “Are you seriously Ice Melt-ing the park?” I can’t help but laugh. I know that she buys the stuff that not only melts the ice but is safe for dog paws. It’s not cheap.
“Yeah,” she said sheepishly. “I just hate the thought of some of our more elderly neighbors having to walk on these sidewalks, what with the weird weather lately.”
“Did you see the little ice balls it was raining earlier?”
“I did!” she said.
“Well, Mirelle. I gotta tell ya. You’re my hero!”
She laughed. “Sometimes it’s up to us, you know what I mean?”
I smiled at her. “Sometimes it is. Happy New Year, Mirelle!”
“Same to you,” she said.
And the same to all of you.
Happy New Year, everyone. And remember: Sometimes it’s up to us.
One Last Note
11 hours ago