Jeremiah's School of Levitation


Monday, May 01, 2006

Levitation Graduation

I generally walk around with a bunch of goodwill for good old humanity and I smile at folks and say goofy things to cashiers, which, by the way, is something I'm going to need to get some medicine for, to make me stop.

For example, when a cashier asks me "So, did you find everything alright today?", I need someone to teach me that saying "Well, actually, I didn't find any peace, great riches, or eternal bliss. What aisle are they on?" is profoundly goofy and that I really need to stop.

Or, when I want change for a 20 and they say "What kind of bills would you like?", and the goofy me rears up and says "Oh, I'll take about ten 20's," I need someone beside me to gently lay their hand on my shoulder, and then pinch it.

Well, at least I don't say "Working hard, or hardly working?" But, I fear that I'm just another dead brain cell or two away from that. I need help. I'm reaching out.

Anyway, humans. Yeah, I'm usually generally happy with folks, but, I also notice that though most people around here are happy with folks too, they don't generally like speaking to folks. I don't know if it's a safety thing, a big city thing, a "man, that Jeremiah looks/smells/walks funny" thing, or what, but the friendly line gets a little blurred when you actually cross it and say something. But, okay, I'm with that. I ain't mad at cha! We'll just keep on grinnin at each other! Grin Grin! Have a nice day!

But, the other day, I had two, count 'em, TWO people actually SAY something to me, both of which were out of the blue, pleasant, and exhilarating in their own way.

First, at the gym, there I was, pumping on the stationary bike, sweat dripping, huffing, my eyes locked on the little LED heart rate readout on the display screen. Next to me was an attractive young lady, also on a bike. I wasn't paying much attention to her because you're not supposed to, so I just pumped away. Finally, I noticed she was done. She got off her bike, wiped it down, then she tugged on my shirt. My heart rate shot up as I stopped to look at her and she said, "Hey, I just want to say that your hard workout on the bike inspired me to work harder to keep up! Thanks!" I said something goofy like "Aha, my evil plan worked!" and that was it.

Man, I thought. Two things: First, a girl in a gym talked to me! Over the past 25 years I've worked out, this has happened about NEVER times. Yes!

Second, she offered me a compliment, and some useful words, and a feel good sheepskin warmie. In other words, we had an encounter that superseded a discussion about our weather, which is the most boring weather in the nation. We have 266 cloudy days a year and it rains a lot, but the rain just kind of sits in the air with nothing to do--no giant splooshes on the windshield, no howling wind, no blasts of thunder or lashes of lightning, no yellow sky, no rippling curtains of dark raindrops--nothing. Our weather does nothing. Talking about the weather here is like comparing the cotton balls that you pull out of asprin bottles ("Hey Joe, look at my cotton ball--you ever see anything like this? What's your cotton ball look like?")--why are you wasting your time?!

Anyway, it was a wonderful thing, and just the thing that injects a little humanity into the day (or night, as it were), to know, you know, that someone is speaking TO you, not AT you.

The other encounter happened in another normal place, but in a situation where I'm often not bothered, except by my wife. That situation was me with my iPod on, jamming hard. I was walking through the grocery store and a cashier, who apparently didn't know how goofy I was going to be to him later, stopped me and asked me what I was listening to.

Now, NO ONE has ever asked me what I was jamming to, or, in other words, "What's making you smile like that?" No one usually invades people's pod worlds, which is good, but, wow, how cool is it for someone to invade your pod world with a question about what's making you so happy?

So, I tell him I'm listening to Keane, which I thought would be enough. No way. This was Talk To Jeremiah Day. He then said. "Oh, cool. Keane is great. If you like Keane, you should try some Ben Folds."

Gasp, I said. "Okay, I will." And he walked off.

Man. He saw I was happy, and he tried, just out of the blue, to make me even happier! I guess I found what aisle happiness was on!

Anyway, after those two encounters, which happened within an hour of each other, I was whistling a tune for the whole human race and I celebrated by not watching CNN for a whole day.

Thanks Gym Lady and Grocery Store Man. You get a diploma from the School of Levitation!
Jeremiah, 8:25 AM

3 Back at me:

I'm so jealous! Conversations with strangers! I chat with cashiers and waiters, but it don't mean nuthin. The last surprise stranger compliment I got was about four years ago, standing in line with my two kids at a chicken place, me n' the kids were laughing and chatting about, oh, Pluto or something (!), and the woman in front of me turned and said something like, "It's nice to see how much you love your children, I wish there were more moms like you." I couldn't wipe, rip, or chisel that smile offa my face!

BTW, Ben Folds is pretty awesome. He swears sometimes when he sings, and it gets me pretty hot.

That would make a good blog post...what's on YOUR mp3 player?
Blogger Mona Buonanotte, at 1:37 PM  
that't positively lovely, with the accent on the positive...

a little human interaction can be such a cool thing...
Blogger ipodmomma, at 11:03 PM  
First of all, Keane rocks. I like Ben Folds, too. I think Coldplay is similar to Keane, too... for what it's worth.

Cool about the chick at the gym. IF I make conversation at the gym (which is rarely) I try to keep it positive - "You've inspired me about such and such" or some other form of admiration / recognition. All too often, we get down on ourselves (or worse, competitive!) and it doesn't do anyone any good. I bet you'll smile at that chick next time you see her... And you can tell her she's inspired you to work harder! ;-)
Blogger Sarah Elaine, at 11:13 AM  

Say sump-tun