Exercise #1

1. Write about something unusual you saw yesterday.

Well, I didn’t actually leave my apartment yesterday except to go to my friends house for Easter Popeye’s Chicken and to watch a movie, but today I did journey to my office.  I commute through the Pentagon’s Bus and Rail Terminal 5 days a week, so the sight of armed patrols is not very shocking anymore, but in the afternoons I have noticed one very odd guy.  The commuters of the Pentagon are a quiet bunch, unless they know each other, who keep to themselves.  They will have their earbuds in with their IPods playing some song that none of us can hear (it is not proper etiquit to play your PERSONAL listening device loud enough for other commuter to hear you) and their heads will be buried in a book of some sort.  The odd ball that catches my attention is a middle-aged balding man who couldn’t weigh more than a buck 75 and is about 5 foot 9 inches tall with light brown hair.  There is actually nothing particularly out-of-place with him in this context except that he is the guy who uses the sliding “sizer” on the earbuds to shorten the cord.  He always has the point where the left and right earphones split tightened up to his chin so that he looks like he’s got a chin strap running into his ears.  OK- I get that, it’s all about what is comfortable to you- you go guy!  This would be all good and well except that he also will be standing in the line (yes, we NoVA commuters DO get in line to board the busses!) and singing whatever song he is listening to.  We don’t actually know what that song is because he is abiding by the unspoken volume rule previously mentioned.  The last somewhat creep thing about this guy is that while he’s sitting there with his headphone chin strap, singing his song in an off-key way, he’s also staring at the crowd, just watching the people in line.

I’ve seen this guy quite a lot since he seems to be on the same time schedule I am for leaving the office, but I’ve yet to figure out if he’s serious.  Could he have Aspberger’s syndrome?  Could he just be socially awkward? (By the By- that whole social anxiety drug that has a side effect of erectile dysfunction- am I the only one who finds that ironic?) I’m not sure.  I would like to think that he’s a social scientist who is conducting an experiment on the group mind by behaving out of the ordinary, but more likely he’s a lonely commuter- just like me- who finds the stares or the effort the people exert ignoring him while they wait for the bus somewhat amusing.  He will probably then get on the bus and go home to his house (he gets off on the residential stops) and either thanks his mother for folding his laundry because he still lives at home or he makes some Mack and cheese and watches Jeopardy, calling the wrong answers out to nobody.

OK- so that wasn’t so unusual, but I will try again tomorrow 😉  Nighty Night!


2 thoughts on “Exercise #1

  1. Sarah says:

    Shall I join you in this endeavor?

    Today, the second student I saw was a hyper young undergrad who came by to turn in some required documents for his Financial Aid file.

    Somehow, he worked into the conversation that he had awakened only “seven minutes ago, and was ready to take on the day.” I looked at the clock and said, “I got up three hours ago, my energy is waning.”

    “Do you like penguins?”

    “Umm, yeah, sure I do.”


    The student then proceeds to take a beanie baby penguin who had obviously been well loved for a few years and plonks him down on my desk.

    For the rest of the transaction, he sat just north of my mouse pad and I pet him.

    His name was Albert, A. Penguin for short.

    When our business had concluded, the student whisked Albert away and safely deposited him back into his back pack and trotted out of the office calling over his shoulder, “Have a lovely Easter week!”

  2. Simone says:

    In a word- Brilliant!

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