Saturday, September 22, 2012

People I don't know

I love "people watching". Airports, parks, restaurants, shopping, all provide ample opportunity. However, if you repeat a more than an hour long commute to your workplace for years, as I do, AND you're far sighted, as I am, it is another great place to watch. In fact, it is an even better venue, because you get to meet the same cast of characters over and over. Here are just some of the people I don't know...but kind'a feel like I do....

I like the older gentleman, who walks most every morning, despite some hemi-paresis, on a road not far from my house. His dedication to continue, everyday, inspires me and sets my morning off on the right foot.

I like to think about the guy I've never seen at the Komatsu plant. The one in charge of where they park, and how they position, the newly minted yellow monsters on their grounds. The giant machines are lined up in precise lines and curves, with their massive yellow beaks standing identically tall or reaching forward like the necks of mechanical swans in a perfectly manicured Japanese garden. I wonder if he is also the one in charge of the water that is of an unnatural cobalt color, as it trickles over the man-made rock fall. If so, I would guess he also thought of planting the row of cherry trees along the sidewalk whose blossoms are so beautiful each spring. I bet his house is very neat and very feng shui.

I don't like the 'special' Signal Mountain folks who think they don't have to get in the far right hand exit lane ahead of time, but can cut others off at will. Luckily, as I leave home before 7 am, I miss most of them. Drivers from 0645 and 0700 are much nicer than those who drive afterwards.

I like the girl with the long blond ponytail, red polo and khaki pants, who works at the Georgia welcome center. Every morning she walks the grounds, looking for debris left by visitors and removing it so that others may enjoy the pretty, lush, green field. She is very punctual and I can judge my own progress by her location. I worry about her feet though. In that thick grass, the early morning dew would surely leave her shoes wet all day.

I like the young guys in the Hubble Glass truck. The driver is steady. The two passengers are either talking animatedly, with broad gestures or are slumped on each others shoulders in deep slumber. I wonder which state of being the driver prefers.

I really loath NCHKPEA, in her grey Honda Accord, with her strangely black hair spiked up like a chicken. She is a bully. I watch her whiz in and out of traffic, tail cars who have absolutely nowhere else to go, as if with her being a jerk behind them, all the traffic in front of THEM will suddenly dissolve and a magical path for her royal specialness will automatically appear.  I may be guilty of driving too fast on occasion. But, I don't drive mean. There was a grey Accord crashed and backwards in a ditch near my exit once. I was certain it was her. It wasn't. Oh, well, since school is back in session, I leave earlier than I did in the summer and have not been plagued by her jerkiness lately.

I like the older lady who walks with a forward tilt...everyday....rain or shine...round the Kroger parking lot, down Walnut Avenue, with a turn on the side road and round again. I wonder how many circuits she makes. She worries me a bit when she crosses at one of the lights. Her hesitating steps are like an invitation for disaster to more 'special' people who think that they have a unique pass that allows them to turn in front of oncoming traffic, even though their light has already changed, and, I fear, barrel into little old ladies. Wonder if she would like to walk with my friend on the mountain. "Now, Harold, you know we have to walk in this direction!"

I like the guy in his faded blue work shirt who drives the slightly disheveled yellow Chevette toward Chattanooga around 530 pm. I get to see him, elbow out the window in most weather, tooling steadily at no great pace, in the far right lane if I get out of the office on time. His car always reminds me of a bumble bee, with its two broad black stripes from nose to tail and its steady high pitched hum.

I like the guy in the red Smart Car.  He actually looks a bit like Mr. Bean.  Surely, he must be buffeted by all the 18 wheelers on the road!  But, he just tools along, unperturbed.

Thanks to all my fellow travelers.  You have kept me entertained.  To some of you....PLAY NICE!!!  To all of you, I wish you the best, wherever the road may take you. - c


  1. You would like the Chicago trains and buses. People have lifetime transportation buddies. Creatures of habit..same car, same seat everyday, for years. I use to sit with an older black man every morning. We'd read our different newspapers and trade when the train arrived, so we'd have a different paper to read on the ride home.

  2. Hah! I love this! The one about the guy at the Komatsu plant is pratically poetic! :)