I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Mysterious Hollering Dude Returns

From December of 2013.  Because in the trenches of a Minnesota August, I'm romanticizing how wonderful an arctic breeze can feel.


It is 45 minutes until the sun will be up.  I have managed to squeeze into every article of clothing that I own and waddle myself, fat as a tick, down the street and toward the bus stop.  It is cold out, the kind of cold that will make the forecast of zero later in the week seem positively spring-like.  Standing at the corner, waiting for the traffic to pass, I blink several times in an effort to clear what I suspect may be a thin layer of ice from my eyeballs.

It has been quite some time since I’ve seen him, and holy moley, there he is.

“Mornin’!”, he says.

I step to one side while Mike – was his name Mike? – zips by on a bicycle.

“Morning!” I call.

I haven’t seen him in well over a year. 

Honestly, it’s just not that kind of relationship.

I live in a city and, like anywhere else, there are routines.  I may not know you, but I know that you go to Starbucks.  I know that you get off the bus four stops before me.  I know that you have a dog and should hit that black wool coat of yours with one of those sticky-tape rolls…  But I don’t know where you go when I don’t see you.  And sometimes, that bothers me.  These people we see every day but don’t really know, do they feel the same way about us? 

I will board the bus shortly.  I will see the man with the sculpted facial hair, the one whose clothes smell like cigarette smoke.  I will see the older woman with the impeccable lipstick and the strikingly beautiful white hair.  I will see the man in inadequate winter gear, the man with the profile of Aztec royalty. 

Am I the woman in the sleeping-bag coat, the blonde with the iPod earbud in one ear?

And I turn to watch Mike – and his bicycle – already a block away, his tail light blinking redly into the distance.

21 comments:

Shelly said...

It's always good to have a few of those hollerin' kind of relationships. Now you've got me thinking- how do the casually known people in my life identify me?

vanilla said...

The sleeping bag coat, the earbud. Some identifiers are better than names, which I tend to forget anyway.

Al Penwasser said...

When all else fails, make up a story about them and post it on Blogger.
It's what I do.

Sioux said...

Pearl--Your repeats are wonderful fare. Warmed-over, the second time around, they're still marvelous.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

I think I would be known as "that short white woman with unfortunate hair."

JennaQuentin said...

This makes me think of riding the bus and tram in France. I love public transport stories and your great phrasing like, fat as a tick, and the thin layer of ice on your eyeballs!

Delores said...

In our neighborhood we are the old couple that sit on the bench out front of their house and wave to people they know.

Pearl said...

Shelly, I do believe you are known as the short, toned woman with the awesome cowboy boots.

vanilla, oh, me, too.
And even if we meet, you will still be "vanilla" to me.

Al, Minneapolis is crawling with weirdos. No pretending necessary.
I am, however, working on stories involving scars and how I got them...

Sioux, that's sweet of you!!!

Dawn, I think of you as that white woman with the smile on her face.

Jenna, isn't public transport awesome?! A lot of people get nervous once outside their own cars, but really, the majority of people are just fine and wish you no ill will. Even that totally stinky guy that now rides my -- MY! -- morning bus. :-) Man. That guy really reeks. Like he's got used cat litter in his pockets...

Delores, :-) Yes. The best of all bench-related nomenclatures.

Pearl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pearl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jenny_o said...

Funny how real life and internet perceptions are so different. The people on the bus see you as the sleeping bag lady; I see you as the lady with the notebook and pen, furtively scribbling while teehee-ing quietly to herself (or, some days, pursing her lips in stern disapproval) :)

And like Shelly, now I'm wondering how others see me. Ack.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
..alll day I have been battling Blogger (and its mysterious disappearance with its red light in the distance) and at the end of it I can come home to Pearl and know there will be light entertainment and refreshment - even leftovers are good hereabouts! YAM xx

Daisy said...

You would love my apartment building Pearl! Everyone says "hello", some stop, sit, and chat. Names? Some I know, but I'd love to hear/read your descriptions! And it's a pet friendly apt. bldg, so there are the dogs names and personalities too!

Oh, you MUST visit!!! :-)

jabblog said...

Who's to know what connections we make and why - be thankful we make them: it ensures we know we're alive and human.

Elephant's Child said...

I would much, much rather be invisible. And keep watching.
And don't want to know how others see me - those thoughts are the stuff of my nightmares.

63mago said...

" ... do they feel the same way about us?"

Yes.

Suzanne Casamento said...

This made me think about where I live. There's the mean redhead in the white mercedes (she yelled at me once), the woman who sings scales while floating in the pool, and the gorgeous carpenter who works shirtless...

River said...

Your mysterious hollering man is much nicer than mine. Mine is homeless, afflicted with assorted psychoses, the things he hollers as he roams the streets are not printable.
I often wonder about people I see on the bus, do they have mirrors in their homes, do they see that their clothes have labels hanging out? What about that woman who looks quite lovely from the front, but has a birds nest of hair at the back, like she's forgotten to comb that bit?

Mary Horner said...

Your post reminds me of the old saying "some people are in our lives for a season, and some are in our lives for a reason!" (Or something like that!)

Geo. said...

Pearl, you are able to observe and deduce habits and character of those around you at a time of morning when I can barely keep my eyes open. I learn here and appreciate.

Jono said...

I remember those types in the Big City. Here in the woods we have the same thing, but with a more rural flavor and uniquely attired. It's always cooler by the lake.