Stream of Unconscious

Often I wake in the middle of the night with thoughts and visions that must be written. A lot of it may seem like mere rambling, but I am a born writer; I need to see what happens to my words once they stare back at me from the pages of my computer screen. Since I am ususally more than half-asleep when this happens, I jokingly entitled the original document: "Stream of Unconscious." Now that I am finally starting to publish in a blog (as so many people have suggested I should do!), I thought the title remained appropriate.

Monday, April 25, 2011

People Watching

After a long and particularly trying day at work, I knew that hitting the track would be the only healthy cure for my cynical lethargy, so I laced up my running shoes and headed out the door. Today was beautiful, in the lower 80's, with just enough cloud cover and breeze to keep the heat discomfort away.

I would say that running or walking is the best thing I know for clearing my head, but in all honesty, people watching helps me just as much, if not more. Today was no exception.

The first person I met on the track was a guy in his early 20's, his music up too loud (what's the point of headphones if I can still hear your music? Does that thought make me old??), and wearing a worn-out, holey, battered old T-shirt upon which he had magic markered: "100% recycled material." Right then, I knew this was not just a run, it was an adventure.

Not long after Recycle Boy, several people with tiny little dogs came to meander and enjoy the weather. I am what you would most definitely call a Cat Person, so although I love dearly a lot of Tiny Little Dog People, I cannot say that I will ever understand them. Night and day difference, is all I'm saying. (Side note) One thing I have learned: if you're trying to set a decent pace or get lost in your own thoughts, beware Tiny Little Dog People. If you make eye contact, or pretend not to be annoyed by their dogs taking too much interest in your ankles, they will talk to you! You have been warned.

Then came some girls I did my best to ignore, already fit and tan and young enough to not have to be out there running, but running nonetheless. I have to squash the urge to become Mean Girl, if only in my head. I suppose I was one of them, once, but had no awareness of it at the time. Truth be told, their presence probably makes me push myself a little harder than I would have before. I guess you can put a positive spin on just about anything. I do, however, secretly wish we could segregate certain spots for moderately attractive, pudgy people to work out in, where the Hot Gym People would be denied access. But I digress.

Last but certainly not least came a white-haired man who looked eerily like Dick Van Dyke, and kept grinning at me in a manner that was not entirely gentlemanly. Maybe it's just the writer in me, but when Dick Van Dyke starts checking you out, it's difficult not to begin pondering the ways of the world, and wondering whatever your purpose in it might be...

I didn't solve all of life's mysteries at the track, but I at least got to let go of the day and amuse myself wondering about all the folks I passed along the way, which in turn got my creative side going. On the way back to my car, I noticed one of the Already Hot Girls had entrusted her keys and water to a small patch of grass, and I was lost in a daydream involving grand theft auto as I started up my cranky old Honda and headed home.

I think life is full of adventure if you know how to look for it. I can find it in the everyday, running in circles, whether literal or figurative. A good dose of people watching, a run, a new book, a hearty meal, catching up with a friend... these things can help to balance out a bad day.

Here's hoping tomorrow's a better one, or at least, that the people watching will be good! If all else fails, I can always go to Wal-mart...