Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Living on borrowed time out on the rim, over the line, always tempting fate like a game of chance

Scattered thank-yous, mentally noted, from the past two, three weeks:

Thank you to the mailman whom I asked for directions when I got lost going to the evening of live Moroccan music in Berkeley. I don't think you knew how to get there any more than I did, and you were suitably vague about what road I should take, but you were friendly and you underscored my new philosophy: Spotting a mailman when you're lost is the best, relieved feeling in the world.

Thank you to the blonde guy biting his lips to keep from smiling at the Moroccan music dinner/benefit, for repeatedly switching around the lined-up juice bottles on the drinks table while the little boys who had lined them up giggled and rapidly shuffled them back into perfect order.

Thank you, neighborhoodies.com for keeping me amused for hours on a Tuesday two weeks ago, when I should have been doing productive things that would result in my having enough money to actually buy said hoodies and t-shirts.

Oh yeah, but I have a job now, for the summer. Thank you, people who gave me a job, for thinking I'm grown-up enough to handle work and for believing I'm actually worth hiring. Thank you for the money, too, because, I'll be honest, I really do like money.

Thank you to the ambulance driver at Telegraph and 52nd, for not running me over when, oblivious child that I am, I nearly didn't notice your speeding ambulance and its flashing lights in time. When I slammed on my brakes, so quickly I smelled the burning rubber from my tires, you continued through the intersection, turning in front of my lane. I did my usual throwing-up-my-hands gesture, and you smiled and saluted smartly.

Speaking of ambulance drivers, thank you, Ladder 49, for making me appreciate the work that firefighters do. Firefighters: You are ROCKING.

Thank you to the driver who so patiently waited at the stop sign on Homestead Ave., while the couple across from him at the intersection picked up their fallen groceries in the middle of the street. You didn't honk, you didn't throw up your hands, you didn't seem to have any visibly impatient expression on your face. You just sat and waved at them to continue taking their time, and I feel blessed for having had the opportunity to witness your patience and grace.

Thank you, shutterfly.com, for sending me free prints. You sure know how to give a girl incentive to develop digital photos for the very first time (even though I've owned a digital camera since last August), and I'm staggered by the image quality of the photos I received in the mail. Oh, and my camera: I love you and your photo-taking, and your video-recording feature, too.

Thank you, clumsy young man who bumped into me on Main St.; your muttered "I'm sorry" and my unconcerned "Excuse me" gave the blonde girl with you just enough time to glance at me and squeal, "Oh my God, your pants are so CUTE!" She didn't strike me as the type to be caught dead wearing my Elvis pants, but God knows I myself use "so cute" as a compliment more often than not, too, so I can't fault her for the ditzy sort of exclamations.

Thank you, girl on Highway 4 who was driving with her bare left foot out the open window, for making me smile on my way back from a funeral. I know I've made sarcastic comments about these sort of driving habits in the past, but, still, I needed a smile desperately, and you did just the trick.

Thank you, man at the grocery store, for knocking on the watermelons for sale and bending down, holding your ear close to the fruit. There is an art to fruit-buying, and you clearly looked like you knew what you were doing.

Thank you, Jessica at the bank, for your handwritten, cursive Have a great day! notes on all my deposit receipts. Beyond the appreciation for your personal touch, I really do like your handwriting, too.

Thank you to the grinning blonde art student working on a painting in the library parking lot at the university, for noticing our curious glances and fully standing up and turning around to wave at us as we drove away. "Vhat a nice bwoyyyyy!" I laughed in my best Desi [South Asian] accent.

Thank you, A.M., rockstar extraordinaire, who had such a big name for such a small woman. If I could pick one single person whom I was convinced would change the world, you would have been it. And yet, you still did more in 22 years than many of us manage to accomplish in 45. Thank you for your exuberance, your passion, your dedication to justice and equality in all forms. We live in gratitude for your light.