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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sometimes It Is What It Appears to Be: A Nice Day

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 it 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 the other morning, a man I’ve known by sight for eight 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 nyloned 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 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 buthy thinth high thchool?”

Who, me?

Why yes. I guess I have been.

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?

27 comments:

Leenie said...

Nice to have it pointed out when we are so deep in our own world to notice. Have a good one, Pearl.

jenny_o said...

You are so right. Thanks for passing along the "point out" ... and have a good week :)

Simply Suthern said...

Some folks have better days than others.

As for me, I can't complain.

Sioux said...

Yeah, when we want to grouse, all we have to do is look around...and we'll see there are lots of people who have it worse than we have it.

And then we shut our mouth...

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

It IS a nice day. Shame on me for forgetting.

fishducky said...

ANY day viewed from the right side of the grass is a good day!!

Eva Gallant said...

So true! If you woke up this morning, it's a good day!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
It only takes a mile in another man's shoes to tell us that our day is far from being news.

Or so grandad used to tell me. I think you just reminded me! &*>

Joanne Noragon said...

"Get out of bed with a smile on your face," as we were told. The sun is shining; having a good time.

Lynn said...

So many things taken for granted, that's for sure. It's nice to be reminded to slap us back to gratefulness. Hey, I'm going to put it on my list to purchase your chapbooks!

Jeanie said...

The "nice" is there in every day if we just think to look for it....you have done a good job of reminding us to look.

Perpetua said...

Pearl, we shouldn't need reminding, but we do, and you've just done it beautifully. Yes, it's a nice day and I'm grateful for it and for every one I wake up to see.

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

So very true. Every day can have beauty in it if we keep our eyes and heart open to it. And most days are pretty freakin' wonderful.

Geo. said...

I appreciate this post. One thing I've found helpful in retirement is going out among people to dilute myself. One's own exclusive company can get a bit thick otherwise.

goatman said...



I thought he had said "bushy" ?? but then you were there!

vanilla said...

Now that's the thing. Every day is a gift. It should be recognized as such, we should be grateful for it, and we should enjoy it.

Troubles? We've had some,
but they're soon forgotten...

Al Penwasser said...

I always feel ripped off going to a strip mall. Not an adult bookstore or gentleman's club to be had in the whole place.

Judy said...

I figure I am on the right side of the sod, so it has to be a good day... (I have to admit, finding you has helped with that!)
Now, to get some other people to admit that...

mapstew said...

:¬)

xxx

Kristy @Loveandblasphemy said...

Hey, Pearl! Missed you! I'm blogging again at a new site (used to be Kristy at Pampers and Pinot). I'm having a nice day. Sometimes "nice" is nice enough.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

People-watching has got to be one of life's greatest pleasures. Free, too! Thanks for the great reminder. Any day we open our eyes on the top side of the ground is a good one.

HermanTurnip said...

Replace "Danny" with "HermanTurnip" and "strip mall" with "arcade", and that could have been me growing up in the 80's...

sage said...

A wonderful post and we should all appreciate our "good days" Thanks for the reminder.

Daisy said...

A good reminder Pearl...thanks.

Rosemarie Blackthorn said...

That was perfect timing for me.

Thanks for that honey.

xxx

wellfedfred said...

thanks for this. it helped.

Daisy said...

Reading this post just made this day a nice one for me. :)