So there’s kind of a list of weird things
I know the phrase “there’s no such thing as fiction” is reasonably understood by folks in the creative space. Or folks in general I guess. Although, sometimes I point it out to normal citizens, typically at the many highfalutin (had to look up that spelling, I thought it was “highflalutent”) cocktail parties I so frequently attend, you know, the kind with Governors and socialites and extra fluffy white cats that only eat Fancy Feast ®, and I just kind of get this blank, embarrassed stare like I just dropped a jar of Grey Poupon on the floor, covering one of the aforementioned white cats in whole grain Dijon mustard and oh aren’t I mortified? (This may or may not have happened before.)
Since I don’t have feelings, I’m rarely mortified. Actually, that’s not true. When I am mortified, I’ve found it best to just plow along, increase the volume of my speech and flail my arms in hopes of confusing my audience or at the very least creating the illusion I’m suffering from a medical emergency.
I don’t think I’m particularly observant. I forgot about my 10-year wedding anniversary (still married despite this slight miscalculation), I won’t pick up my son (Most Valuable Asset I Own) from school unless I write it down, and if I forget to set my camouflage lunch box by the door I will go without food for the day (yes, it’s cammo, the other option is “sharks,” but I think the cammo is cooler). For example, right now I’m starving.
Nonetheless, I enjoy witnessing the “fiction” I see every day in the world. Here’s a short list of what’s stuck with me recently:
1. Senior-citizen in a vertically rainbow-striped muumuu and white vinyl clogs with a disturbing amount of polish (I’m talking hospital floor sheen) bull rush past my wife from behind as we were waiting for the plane to deboard.
A sort of surprised snort emerged as contact was made (I will officially state, for my own wellbeing, the noise came from the bull rusher), my wife rebounded off the seat she was standing next to, and the woman coursed her way down the aisle, clearing away other obstructions like a high velocity bowling ball with a PBA-level of torque applied. Oddly enough, at baggage claim, the offending party was standing there, nonplussed, waiting for the carousel to fire up like the rest of us, apparently in no true hurry. (I thought this was fairly funny. My wife did not.)
2. Another senior citizen, this time an employee of the airport, operating the baggage cart vehicle thing as the suitcases conveyer-belted off the plane. Ten minutes later, same senior citizen drives baggage cart to that mysterious area of the baggage carousel we never get to see, the part that goes to the outside/runway side of the building, but which I can see for the first time as this is a small regional airport and apparently security isn’t as big of a deal because there’s a big open flap to the outside where I can see everything. I hear him huffing as he manually unloads luggage from the cart onto the carousel. (If it wasn’t for fear of arrest and detainment by the sort-of-paying-attention TSA agents milling about, I would have helped.) Then, when it becomes apparent he’s out of luggage but some sad-faced passengers remain, potentially change-of-clothes-less for the foreseeable future, same man magically appears on the public side of the carousel, then runs over to the lost luggage/claims desk and starts executing the requisite computer and paperwork to determine just where all these people’s stuff ended up. At which point, I was glad to be on the ground as I became concerned this man had functioned as the pilot as well.
3. A food truck, about the size of a UPS truck, with the unfortunate d.b.a of “Grey Whale Sushi” emblazoned on all four sides.
4. “Fuzzy’s” taco shop.
So I guess the good news is, if we can take the time to not constantly think about food, hoppy beer, vacations and sports, all of this great material is just waiting for us to absorb and regurgitate for the benefit of whomever we can corner and force to listen, or read, as it were.