The other day I was outside the library downtown when this man in running clothes went jogging past this guy who looked like he was backpacking across Europe, except he was in Chicago (sidenote: do Europeans think it’s fun to “backpack” across America the way Americans love to “backpack” across Europe?)
“What are you running from?” backpack man shouted to running guy, in a “Dude, screw The Man, quit your job and backpack across Europe, man!” manner.
“I’m not running from, I’m running towards,” running man said. And I think he added something about not having any money.
“Hey, I didn’t ask for any money! Why would you automatically assume something like that?!” backpack man shouts, clearly offended. As I walked by this interaction I gave a little smile. Backpack man looked as if he hadn’t showered in several days. (That’s because he’s been backpacking across the Midwest, duh!) Funny how running man assumed that meant he was a homeless guy.
Onto the next topic.
I was crossing the street as I left my building tonight. I admit I was fumbling with my iPod, but I was paying attention to the cars and not walking at an unusually slow pace or stopping in the middle of the road or anything. But the driver waiting for me to cross gave me this angry “Will you cross the street already?!” hand signal. This guy gives city drivers a bad name. I should remind him that drivers can only be angry at pedestrians who are jaywalking. We were at a four-way stop and I had the right-of-way. Not my problem that he is late or impatient. I should have given him a smile or a wave, but instead I just wanted to get on my way. I was angry for a good block of my walk, until my new music kicked in and I forgot all about the episode.
And on a final note, on my walk back from dinner tonight I saw a woman literally stop and smell the roses. Ok, they weren’t roses, they were a different type of flower. Still, she took time out of her busy schedule to enjoy the little things. If only my friend Mr. Crappy Car Cranky Pants would do the same sometime.