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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

MORNIN’! or It Takes A Village to Wake Me Up

I am reminded this morning of one of my father’s jokes.

“Pearl!”

“Yeah, Dad.”

“Guy goes to the doctor, right?”

“Right.”

“Says to the doctor, ‘Doc! I have a bowel movement every morning at 6:30.’ Doctor looks up from his chart and says, ‘Hey, that’s great! Regular is a good thing.’ Guy says, ‘Yeah, but Doc, but my alarm don’t go off until 6:45.’”

And there you have it: this is where my head is at.

The detail-rich pattern of my workday mornings have taken on yet another facet. Now, not only do I dress myself and manage to lock the front door when I leave for the day, but I have evidently made a new friend.

“MORNIN’!” he hollers at me.

You see, every morning, as I await the bus, things happen in a certain order. The Emanuel Baptist Church van goes by. Various random cars go by, then the car without hubcaps. Then the woman on the Harley goes by. During the school year the immigrant children and their mothers come out of the apartment building across the street.

And then the guy on his bike pedals by.

Helmeted and yet strangely square-skulled, smoking a cigarette, he’s been slowly pedaling past my stop – on the opposite side of the road – since January. Even in the winter, this man’s dedication to his early-morning ride – cigarette dangling from plump, careless lips – is noteworthy.

He’s hard to miss. Traveling the city sidewalk, he causes the children (during the school year) to scatter before him, their mothers clucking and pulling them out of his path.

And now, evidently, the two of us are friends.

“MORNIN’!”

Those who know me know that I am not a keenly social person, first thing. Slow, perhaps even accurately described as “sluggish”, early-morning-Pearl keeps to herself, venturing beyond nods of acknowledgement only when absolutely required.

It’s early, and I see you, is not a nod enough?

“MORNIN’!’

The first time, I smile and nod, an upward bounce of the chin. Hello there, human on the bike. Yes, I see you.

But this is not enough. “MORNIN’!” he shouts again.

OK, OK, already.

“’Mornin’” I call.

And that’s all it takes.

The next day I pretend to be fiddling with my iPod, but he is not to be denied. One hand steering, the other apparently waving in aircraft, he shouts “Mornin’” twice in quick succession into the neighborhood’s early-morning stillness.

I have no choice but to be friendly.

Dammit.

And now we have this between us now, this ritual. I am part of his pattern, as he is of mine.

I suppose we’ll be exchanging recipes next and walking each other’s pets.

Mornin’.

52 comments:

Joyful Things said...

Mornin' dammit - and i wouldn't be here this early for just anyone but you always seem to start my day with a laugh - thanks.

IndigoWrath said...

He's a sleep agent for the Russians. Be patriotic. Kill him.

Leenie said...

Yeah, just like that weird Pearl lady. There every day with something else to say. Good thing what she puts down is so entertaining and fun. No, wait, that is bad because now I have to check in, like, EVERY DAY to see what she and the cats are up to. And Mary. And the people on the bus. Crap.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

How nice for you. An early morning friend. Maybe you could train him to pick you up a coffee somewhere and hand it to you as he wheels past. Turn that lemon into lemonade girl. Put him to work in your life. I mean, if he's going to be there anyway.

Oilfield Trash said...

I know exactly how you feel about mornings because I am the same way.

On another note this routine reminded me of the movie Groundhog Day.

Simply Suthern said...

I'm that guy. Morn'in, Howdy, whatever fits the moment.

Pearl said...

Mornin' everyone! :-)
I guess there are worse things than being a "fixture" in the neighborhood...

Esther Montgomery said...

And on the day he doesn't cycle by . . . you will worry and worry and wonder.

Esther

Rock Chef said...

MORNIN'!

See, it happens all the time - you commented on my blog, and now here I am! :-)

GYPSYWOMAN said...

well, now, see, i'm a "real" morning person so you'd probably find a whole other route if i were your neighbor or if i were in the habit of riding a bike down the street where you wait! ;) however, i'm with the turning the lemon into lemonade thing - let him know your favorite morning drink and i'm betting he'll come gliding by next morning with one in his hand, leaning out toward you as he glides by, cigarette hanging out of his mouth all the while -

Drake Sigar said...

Lock yourself in the house for the rest of your life and never venture outside. You win!

white rabbit said...

Oh c'mon...

I'm not a morning person either but the guy is adding a modest increment to the sum total of human happiness. If you can't prise your lips open at least give him a wave. Think of it as a morning aerobic workout...

vanilla said...

Mornin'. I'm the guy on the bicycle in our neighborhood, and I don't speak to no one. Nod, neither. ;-)

Doubting Thomas said...

I feel your pain. My college roommate (& best friend) dubbed me "Captain Coma" for my superhuman ability to ignore the alarm clock. It takes at least two cups of coffee to activate my bubbly & effervescent personality ;)

Pearl said...

:-) It's been almost two weeks, and Bike Man and I are waving daily now.

Shelly said...

Ha! Loved your dad's joke-

(This won't let me sign in, for some reason)

haphazardlife said...

Sluggish describes me pretty well too; are you my long lost twin?

Vinny C said...

Don't you hate it when people just, like, try to talk to you and stuff first thing in the day. It's even more fun before you've had your coffee.

Mornin', by the way.

Eva Gallant said...

I'm a morning person, too, most of the time. It can be a handicap when you are surrounded by night owls!

Pat said...

I feel your pain about morning cheer.
Careful - next he'll be offering you a lift.
I made a new friend last Sunday in the ladies loo at the Northfield Hotel. She's coming to coffee next week.

Jhon Baker said...

reply - is it? but this may be a conversation starter in which you can always respond with - "is it?"

Glen said...

Have you considered that he may be your Great Grandmother's nephew's twin brother's cousin's Godchild - desperately trying to complete his Family Tree?

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

When you have bunko night together, you'll know this was your destiny.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Your Dad knows how to tell 'em!

Cigarettes and bike riding: they just don't seem to go together, do they?

I have a Bible verse you can apply to this situation, Pearl.

Proverbs 27:14 If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.

The Word of God is true. Amen.

Bouncin' Barb said...

As long as he's on the other side of the road it's harmless. The minute you see him near you, be afraid. Be very afraid. And get a stun gun!!

Katie said...

Lol! I love stopping by here! Always a great chuckle...and what my man calls "feel good moment".

Love it!

www.brewingdaily.blogspot.com

SeaD said...

I'm with you, Pearl. Let me ease into the day. There is a "Morning!" person on my bus commute to work. While I want nothing more than to listen to my i-pod and stare out the window, he insists on sitting next to me and sharing the details of his evening. Leave me alone, dammit! We can have a conversation on the commute home!!
Thanks for the morning smiles.

lisleman said...

better than having him toss his butt at you (cigarette butt). cigarette cyclist - love it
Great post

aBroad said...

Oh God, don't you hate it when you have to speak to them ?
I am lucky here, They speak another language so Buen dia or just a nod and smile work ... anything more and I just keep going like I didn't hear them .. or understand them ( which is usually the truth)... but now of course, I have to stop at every building on the walk to the park, so the Porters can now pet the ailing Pup.
I would rather they didn't ... their sympathy and big hearts make mine break just a little more ....
Ignore me.. please, in the mornings only .. the rest of the day is fine.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

It's now 12:07 p.m. and I'm finally ready to say, "Mornin.'"

Everyday Goddess said...

i can hear him! now he'll be the first thing i hear too.

btw, plump careless lips sounds kinda sexy...

CarrieBoo said...

Lovely descriptions, Pearl. He's got you now. ;) This reminds me of a time I moved to a rough part of town in Bradford, West Yorkshire... as I set off for college each day, an older Indian fellow would be stood outside his terrace house. "Good morning," I would say. "Good morning." The next day I might say, "Hello." "Hello," he would reply, smiling back at me. I experimented with a variety of greetings and every time, he would smile and repeat my exact greeting. Peculiar!

Simply Suthern said...

You sure he aint hollaring MORON??

Julia said...

Thats when you know its time to move! just sayin....

De Campo said...

It's a lock this guy sets the alarm for 0645.

Mama Spaghetti said...

Too funny! Though I'm a fan of routine.

When I lived in Washington D.C. there was a homeless man who sat on the same bench every morning. I'd walk by him on my way to work from the subway, and he'd say hi (so I'd say hi back). When I left, I actually sort of missed his friendly face in the morning!

Camille said...

I'm late to the party today so...Afternoon Pearl. And regarding what OT said hours and hours ago...you sure that's not Bill Murray? Put a baseball card in his spokes, that way you could at least hear him coming.

Belle said...

I think he is smitten with you, Pearl. :)

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

I love that you two have become such great "mornin'" buddies. I see a beautiful future!

Cheeseboy said...

Making new friends is FUN!

The doctor should have suggested to the man waking up a little earlier.

"GB" said...

Evenin'! I think he likes you! :-)

who said...

Yes Pearl, I remember chemistry. One asked me for a cigarette (but I had to roll it) ones father was a cop and another with bleached blond hair pretended to stretch and looked where she should not have. Not that I cared, but she did.

where were you headed 4 days a week then Pearl?

Gigi said...

Talking to you...in the morning?! That's not just being friendly, that's flirting!

jenny_o said...

Hmmm...awkward...but what can ya do? I can never figure out the answer to that, so I dutifully try to be polite, and blush with embarrassment.

Wish I could write like you do - all that richness of description and so very readable - how I wish!

Linda Hoye said...

LOL! Been there! Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

River said...

Bike Man might be your guardian angel. The one morning you don't appear, he'll be the one to notify the police and they will find you locked in your house because Liza Bean has decided you should stay home to wait on her hand and foot. Or paw and paw....

Tempo said...

Hell yeah, we have them here abouts as well... we call them 'axe murderers' :-)

imbeingheldhostage said...

Sounds a bit like the Truman Show. You might want to check the shrubs for cameras ;-)

the walking man said...

One long straight stick through his spokes would stop all that "to hell with your MORNING crap"

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

I have met this guy. Several times, over the course of my life, in various places. You will never be rid of him. Ever.

Gary Baker said...

I was going to leave a witty response, but you have so many comments already that by the time I'd read them all the hilarious witticism had upped and left me for less forgetful climes.

Something to do with 'serial eyebrow bobs' ...

Antares Cryptos said...

"Mornin'" in the mornin' is startling.