Monday, June 6, 2011

Running, Walking, and Prayer

Part 1 - The Runner
On the way home from work this evening, I saw a woman running. She jogged up to the intersection and hit the crossing signal, then stood waiting for her chance to cross the street. She was maybe 30, I think, and wearing a green outfit. Running shorts and a sleeveless shirt, the sleeve holes not form-fitting to her arms and shoulders, but with something approaching shoulder pads lifting the material from the tops of her shoulders, almost like small wings. Her hair was black, short, parted a little to the side and feathered back, actually protruding from her head a bit.  Think Wolverine, if that makes any sense to you. Like wings, mirroring the sleeve-holes of the shirt she was wearing. The outfit was actually a fairly nasty lime green, but somehow she pulled it off and made it look good. The hands on hips stance she took as she waited for the light, the sunglasses, the color of her outfit, the winged shape of her hair and shirt and her general in-shapedness and muscularity reminded me of a comic-book superhero as she waited for the light. It made me smile as I drove away, and I smiled even more when I realized just why I was smiling.

Part 2 - The Walker
Handsome and I were driving back from food shopping tonight after work, and we saw a man walking. He was walking toward us, and we each saw him at a distance and became silent as we watched him get closer and come into focus. He was maybe 50, but a hard 50. It was a pleasant night, warm but not out of control with the heat. White hair flowing to his shoulders, he was walking along with a kind of snappy gait, hands coming quite high, way out in front of his chest, palms down. He had lots of elbow action going on, snappy, like I said. It was kind of attention getting. But that wasn't what was grabbing our attention. The front of his T-shirt was rolled up to just beneath his nipples, causing a half-shirt effect that exposed what, if he were a woman, I'd have assumed was about 11 months worth of baby. As he got closer all I hoped was that it was a funny pattern on his shirt or something, but no. It was him. All him. He looked a bit as if he were made of bratwurst. There was jiggle. There was ripple. His snappy step and arm motion was causing waves to course and flow across the expanse of his gut. It would be fair to say he was the most ridiculous thing I saw in a day where I was looking  for ridiculous things.
Handsome and I burst out laughing as we drove past him, and he just continued marching along, all snap and wobble.
The ones I felt for the most in this was the couple who was walking the other way on the same sidewalk. They were going to be doing a slow-motion version of what we had just done, but they were going to have to make a choice as they passed him. They would either have to stare straight off into the middle distance and act like he didn't exist, acting like they saw nothing unusual in his half-clothed antics and tectonic motion, or  they would have to look right at him and acknowledge his existence right there in front of him.
Either way, I did not envy them.

Part 3 - The Prayer
God grant me the ability to recognize that I am not the Runner, probably never will be the Runner, but that I can make people smile anyway.
God also grant me the ability to be aware of when I begin to become the Walker, and when I begin to spawn laughter instead of smiles.

May I always be aware of smiling, and of laughter, and to be able to tell the difference.

And, for the love of God, may I have the ability to dress appropriately!


Talk to you later!

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