Cat Power put it best in Colors and the Kids, which is one of my favorite songs of all time.
because you wanna say hey i love you to everybody
Some days I can slide through the city in a bubble of busy purpose, but some days I am so affected by the density of the human condition around me that I can barely contain myself.
Between the first and second stop on the 07:27 train I could hear a lady having a quiet phone conversation with the vet about her old dog. She had stopped eating and had fallen down the stairs a couple of times when the kids forgot to close the gate. She didn't cry as she arranged an appointment for tomorrow morning, but my window reflected the way she bit her lip and rested her chin on hand after flipping the phone closed.
Later on the bus I sat across from a girl who was talking too loudly with an acquaintance about her wild life. She loves it when her friend Chris gets high on cocaine because he gets physically affectionate with everyone. Three stops after the acquaintance got off Chris' girlfriend got on and the girl talked too loudy about how drunk and high they would all get this weekend. Chris' girlfriend spoke carefully, at a normal volume.
Walking to a seminar this afternoon I noticed a man in the distance shuffling along on wonky legs, crippled either from birth or by some disease. As I was contemplating the challenges of his day-to-day reality another student tripped on a curb and splayed onto the sidewalk, books and papers flying out of his arms and onto the wet ground. Several folks walked right past before the fellow with the wonky legs arrived and bent down to help.
On the bus this evening an older Asian man sat beside me with a letter hand-written in English, ink smeared in spots by drops of rain. When he finished reading it he opened his knapsack and tucked it into a stack of air mail envelopes. Then he removed one of several paperback books and underlined some words in red pen as he read. Some of the pages had black and white pictures of old-time hockey heroes.
Ever since I was a little kid I have wanted to live a rural life. Two years ago today David and I offered to buy Farcical Farm in all of its...um...glory. The roof leaked, the deck was falling off, the little barn that had housed one horse was dangerously akimbo. Decades of cigarette smoke clung to the outdated walls and there were empty bottles of hard alcohol in the bathroom cabinets. It was not a happy home, but we believed that we could revive it with time, inspiration and money. David would be closer to work on a route devoid of urban traffic, and I was willing to make a much longer commute in exchange for quiet.
And this is where it gets tricky. The voluable quiet of rural living is very pleasant, but the mental quiet is what I really love. As someone who thinks quickly and feels deeply I find city living to be so overstimulating that I get stuck on a perpetual pendulum between numbness and hypersensitivity. The daily routine of a small life in Deroche allows me to better appreciate the whole of the world around me and I have never been happier. Not your typical FFF post, but some insight into how we got here.