Thursday, February 28, 2013

Something in the Mundane


Checking in: With two class weeks left until finals, I've had my britches full of books and papers.  Training has been sporadic because my knee still isn't quite right.  Which means more strength training and stretching.  I'm quite amazed at how flexible I've become but it just isn't the same as a good run.  In my journalism class today, we had to write about our morning.  No matter how uneventful the details, a story needed to surface. This is my morning in a nutshell. 

"Something in the Mundane"
            I should have prepared myself for the frustration I felt after discovering all of my spring classes had already been filled.  I had my doubts about the class availability the night before but being an idealist allows for a measure of self-deception.  After joining multiple wait-lists I decided a walk in the rain to Arlis’s restaurant for breakfast would brighten my spirits. 
This morning was the first time I had chosen to walk downtown from my house.  The drizzle of rain was light enough to enjoy the crisp morning without getting soaked.  The neighborhood streets running parallel with Cornwall Avenue were still full of cars.  I imagined the people in those small homes were groggily watching the morning news as their coffee machines finished brewing.  Waiting for the jolt of caffeine to get them started for the workday. 
            On my walk I saw a woman standing at the corner of Cornwall Market with two dogs on leashes.  When I approached she had her back to me but the dogs looked very interested in me.  One with black fur and a white chest leaned towards me to get a sniff while the other darted in my direction from behind the woman.  It was about to jump on my chest when the woman yanked his leash back at the last moment.  She said, “I’m sorry!  I didn’t see you there.”  I replied, “Well your dogs sure did.”  There was a brief moment of surprise but I brushed it away and continued down the sidewalk muttering, “stupid dogs.”
            Inside the restaurant there were two middle-aged women chatting over plates of pancakes and bacon.  They seemed to be catching up on past events.  They were telling one another about their husbands’ health and the projects they were working on.  I was curious about where one had grown up because she had an accent I couldn’t place.  Her pronunciation of tomato and potato sounded like she replaced the Os with Us.  I imagined she was from somewhere in the Midwest, Ohio maybe. 
            A few minutes later I overheard a customer telling the waitress to look outside towards the intersection.  There was an elderly woman in a small white coupe stopped in the through lane with her left-hand blinker on.  The through light was green but she wasn’t moving.  Behind her was a line of cars stretching past the building.  They were honking their horns and inching their vehicles forward.  After about two minutes the left turn signal changed green and the elderly woman drove straight through the intersection.  I could only laugh at the frustration they must have felt.  It was then I realized mine had vanished and I continued eating my pancakes with a smile.