I want you to know, I have established new rules of the road since becoming Sixty-three.
For instance, if I go to the bank and approach one of those rope and obelisk mazes that they use to keep customers in order and place, and no one is in it, I bypass it. I used to proceed through it when I was a factory worker. My whole life was following orders and procedure. Now, not so much!
If I’m standing in line at Super Cheap Mart, and I’m forced to stand too long, I relax. I might even snore so loud, I wake myself up. I usually look around quickly, startled; to see if anyone noticed my two second nap.
One time, I had drifted off, deeply thinking, and a checkout counter opened up in front of the one I was in line at. Off in the distance, I heard someone say, “Sir.”……. “Sir!”
It took a moment to realize I was the “Sir” she was addressing. I looked up to see the teller looking at me in wonder. She was wondering, as was everyone else in line, if I was deaf, or visiting Mars. If they only knew, I was thinking about Mars. So did Edgar Rice Burroughs!
Of course, I embarrassed myself! In my own defense, all I could think of was to say, “Don’t bother me, I’m imagining things!” I didn’t tell them I was a fiction writer and I often go off…….
If I continued with this, I would have been better off just putting down my stuff and slowly walking away. I didn’t want to add ‘babbling’ to my account.
Instead, I only sounded insane to the common standers by.
I could see by the “understanding” half smiles, that I was being accepted as an “old fart” that had momentarily reflected and recovered. There were a few parents who pulled their children in closer to them. Some even moved their families to other lanes.
Some only thought, “Poor guy, he’s probably earned it!”
The little bit of drool navigating down a left chin wrinkle was a little disgusting. I’m sure glad I didn’t have any chewing tobacco in there today. I would have looked like “the Penguin” in that Batman movie. That even bothered me.
I wiped my chin with my shoulder, which left a wet spot.
Speaking of “old fart”, I’m reminded of what happened to a lady one day on the second floor of the Mall.
Being a writer, I try to keep my bubble large and pay attention to all sights and sounds quite a distance out there. I try to imagine stories about people, young and old.
I noticed what I thought might be a snowbird, farm woman from the Midwest somewhere, maybe Wisconsin or Minnesota.
She was standing in front of a store’s display window. The window was so reflective, it was worthy of vanity checks from most passersby. At this moment, the reflection of this strong girthed, Bohemian woman was dominant. If you looked close, I could be seen in the background next to the rail.
Having come from the Midwest myself, I imagined I knew this woman well. Underneath that large girth, was probably a six-pack attached to a body that had exceptional shoulders and biceps. All had been developed from years of buckets of chicken scratch, milking, kneading bread, and raising children.
I appreciated her, she looked like my grandma and earned her time here; out of the cold, even though she looked as if she had stepped into the wrong painting.
As she turned to leave, a large bag in each hand, she walked with a hip roll created by the full milk buckets she carried for decades.
Right in the middle of a hip-roll, a noisy demon ripped from her backside. It was so loud, it made her jump. She skipped a little, which turned her toward the mirror reflection, and the reflection of the wide eyed me, looking directly at her. With a look of surprise and embarrassment, she spun to find me gone. It scared me too, and I didn’t stick around.
She’d earned it!
I’ve also found that intersection Red lights are another place I have to establish new rules. Fortunately, most drivers give me the one, or two or, three short horns to bring me back. It’s as if they knew who I was.
Unfortunately, some anxious people hit me with the long blast. They just don’t realize that startling me may result in a muscle memory shift to reverse and acceleration. What do they expect from someone who’s just returned from Mars? They don’t have stop signs there. You just change altitude and go around!
Speaking of Mars, did I tell you about the two hitchhiking Plutons I met on one of my trips?
‘They were college students thumbing their way to Earth. Their Master’s Degree assignment was to write a fifty-thousand word essay on the various warlike societies of this planet and how it has slowed human development, and project the time (in Pluton years) it will take earthlings, in their current learning curve, to reach a level of competence high enough to join The Alliance.’
“Snortpffftqkkk”. “Ah, um, ah, I’ll take two cheese burgers with king fries and a Diet Dew, please.” Gees, I hope I said that right, and didn’t just think it. Oh good, she’s pushing the buttons for my order! I’m good.
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