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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Am I Having a Nice Day? Yes. Yes, I Think I Am.


I've been in Florida for five days, completely without Internet access, so please accept my apologies for not checking in/responding, and for this re-post.  Terry, I had a wonderful time with you and your friends, and I will do my best to tell your stories...

When I was a child, there was a strip mall a couple blocks down with a dry cleaner’s at one end; and there wasn’t a day that Danny didn’t stand outside of it.

Danny was a slow-moving and happy man, and it was written all over his face that he enjoyed his life.

“Nice daaaaaaaaay!” he’d enthuse. Danny’s definition of a nice day ran the gamut of blue sky to rainy to full-blown blizzard. As far as Danny was concerned, every day was a nice day.

My interaction with the handicapped thinned as I aged. Once grown and forced into the real world, the typical single-occupant commute becomes a lonely affair; and people you don’t know but must contend with cease to be human beings and start looking more like obstacles.

Dirty, stinking, law-breaking and potentially lethal obstacles.

Then I started riding the bus.

And my suspicion was confirmed, that many human beings are, indeed, dirty, stinking, law-breaking and potentially lethal obstacles.

And that many are not.

The man at the bus stop this last week, a man I’ve known by sight for seven years, a man who now requires an electric scooter and has a terrible hitch in his breathing, asked me smilingly, as we waited in the rain, if we were “having fun yet”.

“Fun is a relative term,” I shivered, my nylon-ed legs goose-pimpling.

Downtown twenty minutes later, I watched from my seat as this same man and his scooter were hydraulically lowered from the bus to the street. He ran his scooter up the block only to return to circle, again and again, a woman in a wheelchair, a woman who smiled and shouted something at him that I could not hear.

I watched from the warmth of the bus.

Flirt.

Downtown! For cryin’ out loud, look at all the people! People in wheelchairs, people with canes and dogs, tiny people and people who must be well over seven feet tall…

Drunk with people-watching, I have rediscovered my fascination with human beings, a fascination that had not long ago faced suffocation.

Take my recent foray into a downtown retail store. There is a man there every time I am there, a man with a determined face and a shuffling gait pushing what appears to be a tennis ball affixed to the end of what may be a broom handle, removing the scuff marks that a disrespectful shoe can leave on a shiny white floor.

From the looks of him, he is quite a bit younger than I am.

I stepped aside to let him finish, and he did. I smiled briefly at him, and he stared at me.

“Tho,” he says. “You been bithee thinth high thchool?”

Who, me?

Why yes. I guess I have been busy since high school.

And that’s when I realized I was having a nice day.

Which got me thinking: I’ll bet we’ve all been busy since high school. But how many of us recognize a nice day without it being pointed out?

39 comments:

NotesFromAbroad said...

You were in Florida ?? Are you all thawed out now ?
besitos.

Simply Suthern said...

Never apologize for your repost. Well unless you run the same one all week.

I have been busy since High School and Most days are good.

Hope yours is.

vanilla said...

Dad told me from my childhood onward, "There is nobody funnier than people."

esbboston said...

I should write a book about my sister-in-law. Her ill-logic is fascinating at times, and certainly entertaining from a long term perspective.

Just Me said...

It's been a long, busy time since high school, filled with a lot of nice days. :)

jenny_o said...

You are particularly gifted at writing these warm pieces on the redeeming members of our collective humanity, Pearl. I love this one.

And hopefully Terry and his/her friends were previously aware that whatever they did might make it to print :)

Daisy said...

Welcome back! Love all your posts, recycled or reused

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Yup....I been bithee thinth high thool and yes....I'm having a nice day. Thanks for reminding me.

Pat said...

Sometimes I would welcome a Pearl's eye view of the world.

Symdaddy said...

While you were away I drank allyour wine and beer and ransacked your fridge.

I also used the toilet!

Don't look ... just flush!

Hope you had a nice time!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

You know, it IS a nice day.

L-Kat said...

You were in Florida!? Jealous. And I like the repost: Fills me in on some of your previous posts without me actually having to sift through them. :) You do the work, I get to read a great post. Win-win?

Pearl said...

I love you guys. :-)

Florida was disappointingly windy and a little cooler than I would've liked! But I did get a lot, and I do mean a lot, of work done on some pieces I'm working on regarding working in an office. The bus stories are almost ready to go to print as well. Why I feel I need to do everything at once, I have no idea...

Symdaddy said...

Did ya bring me a present? Huh?
Did ya? Did ya?

~Sia McKye~ said...

I think we see what we look for, Pearl. Both sides, bad and good. Good warms the heart and adds a spring to our step. I like looking for those good nuggets in life.

I've been busy since high school and packed quite a life into the time. :-)

Enjoyed your post and for me, it wasn't a repost. :-)

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Love this post just as much the 2nd time around. And crikey! I've been so busy since high school!

esbboston said...

I always feel the need to do half of everything at once. Which makes me ponder, what is half of 'once'? It looks like the word 'one' with a c in the third position, so does half change to 'haclf' or 'halcf' ? They become difficult to pronounce, so I am guessing they are accidentaLLy Icelandic.

We appreciate your busy-ness!

mary i said...

Your re-post made me smile and rethink my view,Thank You Pearl.You always make my day :)

R. Jacob said...

hey, you had me worried .
stop on by and I will buy you a beer or three...

Shelly said...

Good to have you back, Pearlie-

Sioux said...

To piggyback on the CS&N song, "Love the One You're With," perhaps we need to remember to "Live the One We've Got."

Deal with the cards we've been given, and be happy with your hand. So my weight would be better distributed over a frame that 7'8" tall. It's not. I have to deal with it. I have an anorexic bank account. I am wrinkly. But I'm alive.

This was a great post, Pearl. We have to count our pluses and resign ourselves to the minuses. And actually, many of our minuses could be turned into good things, if we changed our perspective.

Ian Lidster said...

In Florida? I seethe with envy. And that gives you every excuse for a blogging vacation.

bill lisleman said...

I glad you told us about your trip. I was wondering why you didn't browse by. "have a nice day" flings off our tongues so quickly we don't think of its meaning. Thanks for reminding me.

Ms Sparrow said...

You got to go to Florida? How nice for you. I just went to the Celebrate Yourself Arts Retreat this past weekend. Wish you could have been there!

Eva Gallant said...

I loved this post. So glad you rediscovered your fascination with people!

Eva Gallant said...

I loved this post. So glad you rediscovered your fascination with people!

Glen said...

Can you tell me if I'm having one?

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Awwww, way to get me all misty-eyed, Pearl! Geez, it's hard to be grumpy when you're all busy writing sweet stuff like this...

NotesFromAbroad said...

Sym Daddy's reply - " did you bring me something , did ya ? did ya ?" ... makes me want to say Down, boy, down !

So Pearl, what did you bring us ?

Pearl said...

I've brought you all a re-invigorated Pearl.

Now with extra silly!

:-)

That many days without the internet was awkward; and, in a way, lonely. Glad to see I've not been forgotten!

Craver Vii said...

This warmed my heart, Pearl. It was good to hear. I love how you distinguish dignity between the lowly who deserve it, and the creepy who suffer delusions of mediocrity... even the ones who need to hear, "No, you may not wear that to Walmart."

Joyful Things said...

Its good to be reminded that it really is pretty easy to have a nice day and then realize that I've had a lot of nice days - none of them in Florida where they have the BEST Key Lime pie - but nice none the less!

Jono said...

I guess some people have a clearer view of the good and important things in life.

NotesFromAbroad said...

Of course we didn't forget ! ... what was it that we were supposed to remember ?

Oh, you mean you ? pshaw ! who could forget you ?

The Elephant's Child said...

Thanks for the reminder Pearl. Yes I am having a nice day.

Symdaddy said...

Wow! Extra Silly!!!

Great!

Who are you again?

NellieVaughn said...

I don't feel I've been busy since high school. I certainly haven't matured enough to be considered an adult by most. My friends are getting married and having children, and I...am still here.

jabblog said...

Most of us don't realise how lucky we are:-)

Diane said...

Thank you for noticing. And helping us notice. And thanks, too for coming back. Pearl, Why You Little is the best part of my day!!!