indicators and implications

Water main break sends me scurrying yesterday from the building. I tried to stay but the fire alarm went off. I think they were trying to flush us out. Begone, you office trolls! It seems there are water mains breaking everywhere in this city. Our aging infrastructure simply cannot handle a violent shift from warm to below freezing to warm again. Get home, pull up the shade to a turkey vulture gliding overhead. I resent the implication this bird is making toward my general state of liveliness. I am not dead. It’s simply not true. Maybe the vultures should go feed on all the dead water mains instead. Crunch, crunch.

This may sound familiar to long-suffering regular readers, but how one reacts from inside an elevator to the sight of another person walking (hurrying, even) toward said elevator, defines at a base level the kind of human being one is. Most other indicators are largely irrelevant to me; they require too much interaction, too much time to reach a satisfactory conclusion. If I want to know in an instant, a blinding flash, what kind of person a certain human is I will hurry toward the elevator in which she or he stands, looking out at me with either compassion or disgust, and I, at her or him in return with either gratitude or disappointment. What transpires in that brief moment shall inform me of what stuff they [sic] are made. I am reminded of my experience at the revolving door the other day. The simplicity, the stripped-down bareness, of this moment, two humans moving in opposing directions, yet united in one shared motion to move themselves, and each other, forward to where they needed to be. To ignore the sublimity of these moments would be tragic.

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5 Comments

  1. taidgh

     /  January 30, 2013

    I’m sure those turkey vultures would have a lot to say if only they could talk. I remember those revolving doors. A nice little spontaneous experience.

    I’m sure human interaction in the city is a lot more common. In the little town I live in we’ve certain codes of conduct. For instance if you’re walking in the park it’s only polite to say hello or nod your head when you meet someone on your travels. If you don’t you’re a foreigner or just plain grumpy! It’s funny the labels one puts on the other if you’re not polite. So friendliness is openly encouraged here (sometimes it even seems enforced!) – a little chat or a smile is welcomed wherever you go. Though sometimes it gets pushed to extreme when you forget to say thanks when you get your change at the till, the cashier at times will demand that you say thank you before they let you on your way. The situation gets awkward and no matter what you do you’re labelled ‘that rude so and so’. Funny people.

    Reply
    • Enforced friendliness…what will they think of next. At least no one is insisting we ignore each other; I guess it just sort of happens. Over here the hating has gotten so bad that there are campaigns to boost civility. I love how foreigners are associated with unfriendliness. That is hilarious.

      Reply
  2. ladywrenna

     /  January 30, 2013

    A strange bird and an early exit from the office can’t be all bad.

    Reply

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