Friday May 13 2005 6:06 pm
Today I got a call about a job. It's part-time and I start tonight. I've never been offered a job so quickly before, only hours after e-mailing a resume to the company. It's good news, by any measure. Maybe it's a sign of some sort.
Did the job offer unnerve me? Yes, in a way, just by the surprise of it. It's warm tonight, and when the phone rang I had just woken up from a nap. I was uneasy before the phone call. The phone call demanded my undivided attention. I would have preferred to be more alert on such an occasion, but that's OK. Maybe I should have let the answering machine get it. Usually, I do.
Earlier in the day, I had pangs of self-conscious feeling. I was waiting for the bus, and lunchtime traffic was going by on Mill Plain Blvd. I was thinking to myself about things, yet engaged socially with the auto traffic nearby, somehow. A woman came to join me at the bus stop. Two men across the street finished lunch and retreated, to their car, or their job, it was hard to tell. The woman made a comment about the bus being slow, and I agreed. More than a couple ambulances drove by, as we were near the hospital. Then the bus appeared down Mill Plain. The bike rack was full though, so I motioned to the driver that I understood. It was OK. I had cooled down enough anyway to keep riding, and it was only a few more miles to home. I rode past the tricky part of Mill Plain by the hospital, keeping up with the bus at times. This is what I mean by socially engaged. Part of a unit in motion together. A few people got off ahead of me, so we had to share the sidewalk. One young man bent over, as if to tie his shoelace, at the point in time when I passed him. This left me just enough space to get by, fortunately. I took a right at 7-11, wanting to get off Mill Plain. I thought I heard someone whistle or clap, or call out something. Generally, I would have kept riding straight.
Why would such a scenario lead to self-consciousness? Part of it was the closeness of the traffic on Mill Plain. That, combined with being a pedestrian at a bus stop, or a bike rider. Being one of those two things sets one apart on Mill Plain. Part of it may be boredom. When one feels bored, they tend to create their own excitement. Children are very good at doing this. Adults may do it more unconsciously, out of necessity. A germ of thought gets planted in one's mind, meant for entertainment or just as a mental exercise. This may be along the lines of a video game, or a favorite illusion. For instance, I might dream about running into an old friend at 7-11, then replay and rearrange the illusion a million different ways, just to pass the time. Someone may look at the world as a game of chess, or break it down even further into mathematical units.
This isn't a commentary on Vancouver. It's more of a springtime reflection. It's an exercise, just before starting my new job.