Feb 12, 2011

11 Life’s Lemons - A Weeks Observation

On the Train

lemons I sat directly opposite an elderly lady of African descent who upon seating down open her hand bag took out a mirror and a small container of Vaseline and proceeded to grease nostrils. She first greased them without looking then she held up the mirror tilted her head back opened her nose holes wide dip her finger into the Vaseline and greased each hole three times. She then put down the mirror, used the excess Vaseline to moisturize her hands and then powdered her face and applied lipstick.

In the Subway

crying woman I heard someone crying, it sounded like a woman but I was unable to locate where the song was coming from. I tried to relax while I waited  for my bus. The crying subsided. My bus arrived and I boarded while sitting waiting for the driver who took a break I heard the wailing and sobbing again. I followed the sound to the right of me and sure enough there sat a young woman sobbing into her hands mumbling words while a somewhat distressed looking young man sat there. I heard him say at one point, “stop crying,” to which her cry yell response was, “leave me alone,” as she went up in volume. I sat on the bus debating with myself, ‘Rhapsody mind your business,’ ‘how can you, suppose she is hurt how would you live with the knowledge that you did nothing?’ ‘You don’t know what is happening, just sit here and mind your business, the driver will be here soon and you will be on your way home.” But the reality is I couldn’t as the young woman’s sobs became more distressed and dramatic. I left the bus and walked slowly toward her. I stopped and observed to be sure all the while fighting with myself to turn around but compelled by the need to do something. I proceeded toward her and stopped just arms length and asked, “are you alright?” is there anything I can do for you?” she first nodded yes she is ok then she answered, “yes I am alright, thank you.” I turned around and returned to the bus, thankfully enough my same seat was vacant although the bus had filled considerable. When the driver arrived he made a statement, “Oh the trials of young love, she’ll go through the drama and be done with him by tomorrow and move on to something bigger and better.” I mentioned that I had asked her if she was alright and said yes and he said oh you and a few other bus drivers including myself and she all told us the same thing, they’ll sort it out. I said, “I don’t remember being that dramatic at that age,” he laughed and said “I do, I pulled a few of those in my day.”

On the streetcar - Drunk and flying 3 Sheets to the wind

drunkThe streetcar arrived packed. I was getting on it regardless. The driver seemed reluctant to open the front door but people were leaving through the back. As I had my monthly pass (Metropass) I held the back door open and boarded the streetcar, most of the people behind me followed my lead (I am assuming they also have passes) and did the same thing. On the streetcar I hear, “fucking bitch,” “I’ll kill you,” “fucking bastard, touching a woman, you don’t know me, am an asshole.” Bracing myself for the movement of the streetcar I planted my feet and held on. To the right of me stood a Caucasian man perhaps in his late forties early fifties swaying precariously, his face swollen from the absorption of too much alcohol. He had an overgrown mustache that was overloaded with saliva as he spouted out profanities. “Fucking bitch, I’ll fuck you up, you don’t know me, I’m an asshole.” He pushes pass some people. “I am getting off soon, fucking bitch, I’m an asshole.” I thought to myself, oh you got that right and watch as he steady himself and walked shakily off the streetcar at Bathurst and Queen.

Listening is a skill – Hearing is not listening, ‘it’s just hearing.’

My best friend invited me to dinner. I arrived at the restaurant about 5:45pm. The waitress approached, “can I get you something to drink?” she asked me as my friend had already had a Icewaterdrink, “just a cup of hot water and three lemons please, thank you.” She rushes of and comes back with a tall glass of water filled with ice and one wedge of lemon. She pulps it down and walks away. “Excuse me miss,” I called. She returns, “I asked for hot water with lemon,” “Oh am so sorry I’ll take that.” As she was about to take the water away my friend told her to leave it she would have it. That solved the waitress then went to get my water as I requested only she returned with a glass filled with cold water no ice and a wedge of lemon. I looked at my friend who laughed and bowed her head as I took a deep breath turned around and motioned for the waitress. Looking her in the eye I said, “Can I please have a cup of hot water with three wedges of lemon?” emphasizing “hot water”. “Oh, so sorry,” she says taking the cold water with her and returning finally with the hot  water and three wedges of lemon. I said “thank you,” she looked at us and asks, “would you like to order now?” I ordered some vegetable spring rolls for an appetizer and for dinner I asked for steak (well done) with mash potatoes, broccoli, steak walkingand asparagus. My friend ask me, “you want your steak well done?” I said, “yes I don’t like my cow walking,” (rare with blood running). The steak arrived and sure enough it’s walking. I took a deep breath and said, “Excuse me, I asked for my steak to be well done, this is not well done,” showing her the seeping blood. She apologized, took the plate and returned to the kitchen. She returned eight minutes later with my dinner. I cut into the steak and although it wasn’t walking it was a bit pink on the insides. I sighed, she looked at me and said, “I am sorry, I can take it back to the kitchen and have the chef do it longer.” I sighed and saying, “Its fine I’ll eat it.” My friend looked at me and laughed. Smiling at her I said, “I’ll live, I guess the chef has issues understanding my order as she had taking it. I won’t return it because God knows they might spit in it and I’ll have no way of knowing that it happened so I’ll eat it, its cooked it simply isn’t to my preference but I’ll live.”

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