I did something interesting today. I did something human. What I did is totally normal and most everyone partakes of it every day and at least every day. But to me is quite peculiar.
I hunted for parking for twenty minutes (normal for San Diego, although it is a work day, so shouldn’t people be working?). I met Allison to go snorkeling (I like snorkeling). I found that I had lost one of our snorkels and one of our masks (about the fifth thing I have lost this week (wait, its Monday…). I complained about the water being cold (cause I am a wimp). We got gelato. We talked about food, social events, friends, and children. Then I left.
I didn’t ask how she was doing. I mean I did. I just didn’t ask two, three or four times. I didn’t pry into events that I knew were going on. I didn’t try to work through some emotional trauma. I didn’t talk theology or philosophy. I just enjoyed my friends company and made a memory.
As I was driving away, I felt almost as if something was amiss. But, at the same time, it felt like a success. I had done something new. I just simply enjoyed time with another human being with very little analyzation of the situation, conversation, or them as a person. I didn’t try to infer habits from child hood or figure out why she liked certain things. It was weird, bizarre, and slightly uncomfortable. But rather nice.
So today, I bid you, go do something fun, make a memory. And just enjoy another human being because that is what we as humans are supposed to do.
(I may make this a new series “I Did Something Human” which would take an odd look at what we think are rather normal behaviors, point to their quirks, and then point to their necessity. Thoughts?)
Today I met a girl I have decided to call Sue. I was at the store and as I stood in line I overheard the checkout person say in a hushed voice, “Yes, it is a customer. She has been doing it for a while.” Shortly after he said this, I saw who the culprit was, and what her silent mission was. She was very frumpy looking. Sandals, baggy pants and an equally baggy shirt. Her greying hair had been sloppily put into a bun. She wore giant coke bottle glasses, leaned forward just a little and her bottom lip jutted out. It was immediately apparent she was not a member of mensa. Without a meeting her officially I have called her Sue.
She leaned in towards my isle as I quickly stepped back to allow her access to her determined stare. The magazine rack. She grabbed several, and the hobbled off to the next isle. A minutes passes, and she quickly leaned over and looked into our isle. Apparently whatever she was doing was very important as she let out an expletive, left one magazine, took to, and then moved on to another isle.
In short, she was moving magazines around for some unknown mission. Possibly given to her by the voices in her head. Or maybe she would say it was her coffee cup.
On the way out though, a familiar phrase popped into my head, “We are all more alike than we are different.” I wonder if she likes classical music as much as I do. Maybe she would dance with her magazines, or her coffee cup to the sweet serenade of Chopin or Bach. Or maybe she is like my sister and detests classical. She might like dubstep. She may get down on the floor dancing like there is no tomorrow in some dance that must be from its own separate cultural disposition.
I share this because the longer I am alive the more I run into people who are freaked out, depressed, or in some way ‘out of their minds,’ ‘at their wits end’ and feel as though no one else is in their boat with them. They feel alone. I find myself here often. With my incessant occupation to give meaning to everything I often feel alone. But, but I cannot do that. I cannot allow myself to think this way. Not only is it selfish to think that I am so special so as to think that no human in my vicinity has been through what I have been through, but it is false. We are more alike than different. We are all more alike than Sue than we are different.