Tuesday, June 29, 2010

a quiet day

This is yet another entry about my experiences on the #15. This morning was marked by the loud and mostly vapid conversation of two girls (in their late teens, I'd guess, but possibly early twenties). Both were dressed as though ready to hit the clubs, even though it was barely 9:00 a.m. on a Tuesday, which was fine. They were headed to Seattle for an overnight trip. They carried suitcases large enough to block the aisle for this overnight trip. I mean comically large. I mean, two weeks worth of stuff for one night.

They were probably pretty, with fine young skin, though it's tough to say for certain, since I could have carved my initials into their cheeks through their makeup. The wafting power of their combined perfumes was enough to knock over a small army, but, actually, none of that was what I found so off putting.

Girl #1 sat talking on her cell phone in an excessively loud voice.

"Yeah, like, this whole week I get to go on trips. Uh huh. I'm going to Seattle and then I'm coming back tomorrow night. And then I'm going out again. And then I work on Friday. And then this weekend..."

You get the idea.

An older woman, who happened to be sitting next to me, leaned over and politely asked, "Miss? Would you mind speaking a little more quietly, please?"

And the girls ignored her, the one continuing her conversation, it seemed, even more loudly.

The woman spoke up again. The exchange went like this:

Woman: "Excuse me, but would you please keep it down a bit?"

Girl #2: "Um... can't you see she's talking on the phone?"

Woman: "I know. I talk on the phone but do so---"

Girl #1: "Good. I'm glad you talk on the phone."
then to her caller: "Yeah, whatever, there's this woman..."

Girl #2: "If you want quiet, don't take public transportation."
(Girl #1 continues to talk loudly)

random male passenger: "They should make a rule against that."

Woman: "There is a rule against that."

random male: "Oh, there is." (Points to sign on bus with obnoxious girl talking loudly on her cell phone next to the phrase "Do Not Disturb Other Passengers"

Girl #2: "If you wanted quiet, you should have gone to the library."

young guy with saggy pants who is standing behind the girls, obviously checking them out: "Yeah, totally."

(This guy was strange, because he was encouraging their rude behavior, it seemed, in an attempt to impress these girls, and yet not three minutes earlier, he'd politely given up his seat for a guy with an injured foot.)

Woman: turns back to her book, shaking her head a bit but saying nothing.

Girl #2: "I mean, it's a public place. It's PUBLIC transit. If you don't want people to talk don't be in public."

young guy: "I know what you mean, right?"

The bus pulls up to the stop. The girls are so busy being rude and talking on the phone, respectively, that they don't realize it's their stop. The bus starts to pull away from the stop.

Girls (shouting to bus driver from the back door): "Um, we're trying to get off."

Girls again: "UM, WE WANT TO GET OFF HERE!"

Driver opens the back door for them.

Girl #1 to woman: "I hope you have a quiet day."

Girl #2 to woman: "Yeah! I hope you have a QUIET DAY."

They exit. The doors close.

I laugh and say to the woman, "Well, the good news is that most people eventually grow up."

Woman: "That's true. Except for the odd few, most people do."

Me: "Looking back, I'm sure I was a terror as a teenager."

Woman: "Oh! I *know* I was!" She laughs.

And with that, it was clear she didn't have any ill-will toward the girls. She was just asking them to take it down a little. But, presumably, because she was old and white haired and looked a little prim and was reading her book, these girls took it as an attack and went out of their way to be rude to her.

I decided that perhaps, terror though I was, I was perhaps not anything like those girls. I can't speculate on the women they'll grow into, but I can say that I hope I still have a sense of humor like the older woman I sat next to clearly possessed.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Is there a word for when, for some inexplicable reason, a song gets stuck in your head that you have not heard anywhere recently and for which you do not have any particular fondness? Is there a separate word for when this occurs and only a small segment of the lyrics loop through your mind endlessly? Is there yet another word for the special kind of hell it is to experience both of these things to the tune of Toto's "Africa?"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

water and napkins

So, I've been nerding out on a particular astrologist who deals with astrology from a depth psychology perspective. Among the many interesting posts she makes are weekly posts that give a day by day explanation of what's happening with the planets that week. Friday's entry included the following:

"The first celestial shift of the day occurs at 3:32am when mercury moves out of Gemini and into Cancer. the conscious mind and intellect's shift from Gemini to Cancer is from air to water, intellect to emotion, Spirit to Soul. With Mercury moving into the mothering sign of Cancer, conversation and communication can take on more watery, emotional, nurturing undertones. Speaking from the heart is supported in the coming weeks- as is focusing on the home, family and inner life environment." (emphasis mine)

I note this simply because I had some weird ass dreams early Friday morning, so much so that I woke up and drafted text messages to myself to remember them. This happened at about half past three. I've outlined the dreams below, since this blog has become a bit of my own personal dream archive.

Dream #1

I was attempting to navigate class 5 rapids alone and narrowly avoided my own potential death. I don't know why I was there, or really what I was doing. There was some kind of chute that had been constructed in the waterway. It had two tiers, one dropping water into another that further opened onto a particularly rough patch of water. Then the river continued on to the rapids. I was floating across the water in the top of the first tier in a small, round inflatable raft. I remember running my hands along the edging, afraid that the chute might open, while at the same time not really understanding the danger.

A carload of strangers pulled up to the side of the waterway and shouted at me to get out of the water. They said it was the worst part of the season and explained high high tide and high low tide. They also told me that the Eel River, which is where I was, was notorious for its dangerous rapids. Apparently the chute is where adventurous tourists would drop in and then directly head toward the violent, churning whitewater. (Later, I checked into the Eel River and found it is an actual river, and the Dos Rios to Alderpoint section of Eel River in California is 47 miles long and is classified as a class II-IV section. Weird.)

The next thing I knew, I was standing on top of a platform on the first tier of the chute and an old friend of mine who I used to work with at Kepler's Books was saying that he didn't understand how the whole thing worked. He leaned on a lever that dropped the platform and sent me flying over the edge to the second tier. My bag, which had been on the platform with me, was tipped over and the contents emptied onto the second tier. Water began rushing on top of me and I knew that as soon as enough water had dumped on me the second tier would open and I'd be sent straight down the chute into the rapids without so much as a raft. My friend absent-mindedly pushed the lever again and the flow of water stopped. I was soaked. I picked up my bag to find that my cell phone was still in it and completely dry. I was injured and wet, but otherwise OK.

Dream #2
I was sitting down to dinner at an outside table with B, and also R's friend Ryan. There were other people there, but I don't recall whether I knew them or if they were with us. Then a girl I used to know (in the dream, though not actually in real life) sat down to the table and began complaining about the explosive arguments she regularly got into with the man she loves. I told her "I might almost prefer that to the back and forth of 'I'm in this, wait, no I'm not, I don't feel that way, except, I love you, and we should do this, but I'm scared, well, I'm something, and anyway I want to be with other people, only, I love you, so, maybe I should go' and me going, 'okay. eviscerate me. again.'" The girl said, "If it works for you it doesn't matter that nobody understands it."

The girl and I then walked to R's old apartment, which he'd recently moved out of, and we went inside where we found various items that R and other former tenants had left behind. Most of the things we found were not particularly noteworthy, but then I saw a partial set of my cloth napkins and place mats strewn about the apartment. I remember feeling really annoyed by this and then going around collecting my things and stuffing them into a plastic sack. I remember not knowing how or why R had these things in the first place.