Three Cars at a Curb/Another Award?

The first car is what they call a clunker. It’s unclear whether the original color was tan or yellow – it’s so dirty that it looks gray more than anything else. The back window is full of bumper stickers. One says “Save the Whales!” Another reads “Keep Calm and Carry On.” There are at least twenty more, seemingly random. There are two conflicting ones, side by side, supporting opposing political parties. Other than the stickers, there isn’t much that distinguishes the car from dozens of other similarly dirty, old cars that are scattered around the city. But the stickers give the car character – it’s almost possible to see the teenager driving it, enjoying the confusion as people behind him in traffic try to figure him. He jokes with his friends that his car provides entertainment – something to read on the road. Secretly, he fears someone will cut his tires one day, because they won’t find his ironic take on issues to be amusing.

The second car is stunning, spotless and gleaming in the sun. It looks like a commercial rather than a real car. The curves and planes, the perfect proportions and stylish color – they reek of money. Lots and lots of money.
Every passerby looks at it with a mix of admiration and envy. Some want the car, but some just don’t want the owner to have it. The car has tinted windows, which gives it an air of mystery. Maybe the solution to it is the woman inside, cowering as people peer closely at the car, hoping the windows will do the trick and keep prying eyes out. She has a black eye and a cut lip, and her clothing is piled up in the back seats, haphazardly. All the money she owns is in the glove compartment and she’s spent the day on the phone getting her boss to allow her some paid leave. Just until that pesky cough of hers goes away. Why paid? Because she needs a little extra this month – you know how it is, the taxes are always going up, up, up. The paid leave is given, but she doesn’t want to emerge in daylight. No one needs to know what she’s gone through.

The third car seems dull, after the first two. Not a clunker, not a stunner. It’s just a medium sized sedan, clean, but not gleaming. It has no distinguishing features whatsoever. It doesn’t seem to have any story behind it at all. The people walking along would never notice it – it’s just another car. They wouldn’t even guess that the owners were trying to have a baby, that there were problems and treatments and horrors to go through, that the couple’s relationship seemed to be fraying day by day with the mounting pressure, that they might one day break up, and then who gets the car? Well, the passerby won’t know any of that, but maybe, if they live in the area, they’ll notice one day that the woman is pregnant and glowing and driving off to Lamaze class. Or maybe, instead, they’ll see the man driving off in a rage, never to be seen again. Maybe the car itself doesn’t have a story, but it has, like everything, a story hiding just behind it.

___________________________________

I can’t believe that I forgot to mention Desiree in my post yesterday… She writes beautifully, and her poems break my heart sometimes. She awarded me this, for which I thank her deeply. I’d like anyone, everyone, who wants to, to receive this award. Because (corny warning!) I truly feel that every one of you whose blogs I read has a magic touch. You all make me think, smile, laugh and cry, and to me, that’s what writing is about – making others feel something. And making someone feel something… well, that’s magic. (I warned you, I warned you! But I mean it.)

…Late on a Friday Night

Things I notice late at night:

-The way sound is magnified because of the quiet.

-The way wind seems to be so much freer. Maybe the lack of many people being in the way makes it blow through my hair in a nicer way.

-The way speaking about politics becomes so engrossing, so enfuriating and so intense. Even though I usually speak to people who agree with me, and so we’re preaching to the choir, the night-time makes me want to DO something about it. Maybe it’s the lack of real life that seems to happen at night.

-The way real life doesn’t exist. Late at night, things feel different. There’s a certain point beyond being tired, and in those moments I feel bigger, better, open to possibilities, uninhibited. Magic and fairy-tales always seem more real at night.

-And finally, the way I know that if I could, I’d live the lifestyle of a night owl, because of all of the above.

Joys of the Job

There are times in your life,
When you reflect on your job,
And you check if you like it,
If you grin or you sob.

For although all work pays,
And of course pay it must,
There are always those days,
Where you’d like just to just –

Just to say “screw you, work!”
And to walk out and quit,
With a flurry of spirit
And complete lack of wit.

But even when it’s nice,
When you can stand it and grin,
There are always those dunces
Who must make a din.

For I’m innocently working,
Reassuring the upset,
I’m being so dilligant!
But what do I get?

Music blares out,
And I yell “Turn it off!”
But the answer, of course,
Was a smirk and a scoff.

“I can’t hear the clients!”
I angrily point out,
But my Israeli coworkers,
Hardly notice my pout.

For who cares of the work,
When there’s horrid music to be played?
And who cares if the clients
Are then a bit delayed?

I suppose this must mean
That my job is okay,
For I actually care
About the clients each day.

Insperation in Unlikely Places

Boredom is the best inspiration there is to look around and see things you’d never look at otherwise, things you’d take absolutely no interest in. I discover this time and again when I’m in situations that I think at first I’d rather not be in. Today, as a cashier in my voluntary role at the convention I’ve been at for the past few days, I had one of the moments where I realized this. With nothing better to do, I took to people watching. Ah, the things you see!

A girl sitting on her father’s shoulders, obliviously sucking her thumb and looking curiously and bright-eyed around at people, while her father is fighting with her mother on the phone. A man, looking strangely at a volunteer, going up to her and asking for something and insisting on shaking her hand at the end of their talk, giving her a shifty-eyed look. A woman in a flowing maroon dress walking with her arms linked with those of her two friends, happily conversing and laughing with them, while pausing every now and then to give orders to people- she is one of the supervisors of the volunteers.

So many little stories happening all at once, all so full of emotions – anger, love, happiness, misery and agression. All these things happening in one not-so-large hall, all at the same time, and no one notices. No one will ever know just how many stories and events were going on that day, that minute even, all at the same time.