Sitting at my computer, I’m realizing that I don’t actually have enough mental wherewithal to create a single, cohesive post tonight. Instead, here are two tidbits.
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There is an old man in my building who always used to flirt with me. He’d see me coming and make a big show of saying something like, “Look at that face! Such a beauty!” He’d make eye contact with whomever else was around while patting his chest, as if my presence made his heart race. Then he’d say, “If only I was thirty years younger.”
It was fairly embarrassing, but I knew he always did it from a place of harmless sincerity, so I played along (blushing and waving him away every time). In the last six months he has gotten increasingly frail and doesn’t even look at me when he passes me in the lobby. I never learned his name and so can’t greet him or try to find out how he’s doing from the desk clerk. Watching this once buoyant person wither and decline is making me sad.
* * *
Last week I had cause to park my car at a parking meter while I attended a meeting. It was a two-hour meter and the meeting ran about five minutes over two minutes. I booked it out of there, hoping all the while that the parking ticket gods would smile upon me and spare me a $20 fine. As I walked up to my car, I saw that a woman from the parking authority was in the process of writing me a ticket. As I approached I said, “Oh shoot, I guess I didn’t make it out in time. I only just ran out of money.”
She started respond in a defensive manner, expecting me to start to get angry. I explained that I accepted the ticket and thanked her for doing her job. She stopped writing, took a chip of the plastic bag that was looped around her wrist, crunched down on it and stared at me. As she swallowed she held out the back of her pad and said, “Here honey. Write your address down and I’ll send you a remediation slip. We can cancel the ticket if we’re in the middle of writing it and the vehicle owner arrives.” I sort of blinked unbelievingly at her for a moment, then stammered out a thank you and wrote down the information. It was a nice interaction and an appreciated ticket reprive.