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Monday, April 14, 2014

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

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?

20 comments:

Delores said...

Sometimes it does take a little nudge to realize that yes, yes indeed, it IS a good day.

vanilla said...

To recognize a nice day, determine in your heart that each day is a gift, each day is a nice day, just as Danny recognizes.

Florida? Who knew?

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl, I catch myself a few times a year, a smile growing across my face, as I drive about. Those moments are always brief, but necessary. Roth x

Daisy said...

Yes! I'm having a nice day too! :)

Thanks for the smile, Pearl.

Pearl said...

Sometimes, I think it's just good practice to smile. :-)

jenny_o said...

Any day you're on the right side of the grass is a good day, bar none.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

I was about to write what jenny-o beat me to. So I'll go with another cliche: I looked at the obituaries in the daily paper this morning. I wasn't there. Nice day indeed.

And a nice post, Pearl.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
The right post for me to read at the end of what has been a pretty good day. Yeah. Nice to notice. YAM xx

Merlesworld said...

A lots of us are so busy we notice very little, but when life slows down as we get older life does seem very different, I think it becomes more enjoyable.
Merle..............

Linda O'Connell said...

All it takes is a little kindness.

Elephant's Child said...

You are one of my heroes. And with every people watching/listening post you are cemented more firmly to the plinth.

Sioux said...

Pearl--You reminded me of a young man I knew--when I was 8 or 9--who was intellectually "slow" but he could hit a baseball like nobody I had ever seen.

Yes, a smile can work wonders...

Gigi said...

We all need a Danny to remind us that yes, indeed it IS a nice day.

Launna said...

it's good to have reminders that we really are lucky and there are great days to be cherished... sometimes it's just enough if it is good :)

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

It takes all kinds of kinds. I've always loved a flirt on a scooter, though.

HermanTurnip said...

I find that the older I get, the more I'm willing to engage in small talk with strangers, either while standing in a line or falling in step with a fellow runner. Strange how a little conversation can brighten up any day!

Daisy said...

May we all recognize the "niceness" in each day - and flirt a little too!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Life is good when the nicer days outnumber the not so nice day's.

Buttons said...

It sounds like a perfectly nice day to me. Strange maybe but after all it is Pearl's world you know:) Hug B

Pat Tillett said...

I try to make sure than every day is a good day. It's not always easy, but that is what I try to do.