Three Things

Three things that have happened lately*


A man in a yellow velour suit got onto the train on Friday morning. The suit was a bit too big for him. He was explaining that he was Obama’s cousin and that he loved John Denver. He started singing “Come let me love you!” etc. He was holding a couple of slips of paper with hand writing at the top, and he kept looking at them, putting one on top of the other. He was on his way to appear in court, said he wore the suit for just that purpose. He was Obama’s cousin. At the Belmont stop, a CTA security person came and got him off the train. It was a bit early for a scene like that especially up north on the red line. If it were the green line, some commuter would have told him, constructively, to get ahold of himself. They would have handled the problem in-house. 


Rachel got up early on her Saturday morning to Skype with me. She sat back in bed after grabbing a twenty ounce tub of yogurt. It was called Alive! She held the tub close to the camera to show me. Rachel is tired of all the food in Singapore. She answered a phone call from a guy who was coming over to take a look at her room. She wants to sublet it for the summer. She put the yogurt down on the bed next to her when she was finished eating from it. The doorbell rang and the mattress eased up as she got up to answer the door. The tub of yogurt tipped over. If it wasn’t the worst time to have a pile of yogurt on her bed, it was at least up there. She quickly made her bed to hide it; she pulled her comforter over the yogurt and smoothed everything out. When she came back to me on Skype, she said, “Remind me to wash my sheets.”


My Saturday morning, I went out to drive myself to Indianapolis to see my mom who was there for the weekend. Mitch said he had parked the car somewhere on Glenwood. Coming up behind the car with my bags, I went to throw my backpack in the trunk. I set down my cup of coffee, and I saw the shards of mirror on the asphalt. The driver’s side rearview mirror had been hit off, again. And this was plus the fact that the driver’s seat won’t move anymore. I was going to have to drive the three hours by myself, without a mirror, while pretending to be as tall as Mitch. I thought maybe this time whoever did it left their cell phone number. Maybe they’d pay for the replacement mirror. I looked around the front for any pieces of paper, and I saw that there was a cross hanging from the dashboard. I have no cross hanging from the dashboard. And now that I was thinking about it – the ’97 atlas was missing out of the back window. This wasn’t my car. Mine was across the street, all three mirrors intact. I felt so happy; this small misfortune suddenly wasn’t mine.

* Or Other People’s Problems

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