Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Didn't See That Coming (Never Do)

Things today were unpredictable.

1. I wrote a scene I'd been planning on writing, but instead of it being about Kate and cleaning out her child's room, it turned into being about Kate trying unsuccessfully to cover a homeless person with a sleeping bag her son once cherished.

2. I received a tax adjustment saying they owe me money! (I still don't believe it, and if they give it to me, I plan on handing it all back, just in case. I think there may actually be a mistake here. See this NYT article on how things are jacked this year for some of us.)

3. The car, which we dropped off last night (at the mechanic's, in a sketchy part of town, with the doors unlocked and the key under a hammer on the passenger's side floor), was still there in the morning! And it didn't take long to fix. Surprise!

4. I suddenly needed to get to the mechanic's shop to pay him before he closed. I didn't have a car. So, for the first time in fourteen years of living in Oakland, I got on the bus. I'm a big BART-rider, but the bus? Not so much.

5. And EVERYTHING on the bus was unpredictable. My favorite person was the smallest, oldest Asian woman I have ever seen. She couldn't have been more than four feet tall, and my border collie Clara probably weighs more than she did. She wore a black sweat suit and, surprisingly, a Raider's skull cap. On her back she carried an old white wicker crate-shaped basket held to her shoulders with frayed green ribbon, and inside the basket were fish that I swear were still twitching. She played with a cigarette the whole time she was on the bus and when she disembarked, she only took two steps before lighting and inhaling deeply. She was lovely.

6. It started to rain when I finally picked up the car, and I sat stuck in a traffic jam, thinking longingly of the bus and the way it zoomed along without me having to do anything. I couldn't have predicted that.

And my day isn't even done. I think I'm going to go lie on the couch and try to be as boring as possible, with a book and a cup of tea. It's not unpredictable, but it's nice.


Juliet Blackwell said...

You are SO right about the bus. I think my son learned more than I (or the educational system) could ever teach him by riding the city buses back and forth to high school. I insisted on taking the route with him once, and it was FASCINATING. Life's unpredictability can be its biggest gift...but it takes time, and energy ;-)

Sophie Littlefield said...

oh, there's a story teller lurking here :)

maybe we should have our next plot lunch on the bus...

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