Monday, May 22, 2006
No, not this fellow - me. All was right with the world as I sat parked in my favorite spot in a local metropark. Breeze, happy dogs, the sound of children in the adjacent playground and birdsong - the perfect day, unitil . . . . this guy pulled up beside me where I sat with my feet propped on the dashboard reading the papers I'd been saving for a lull in the birding. The radio sounded from his open blue convertible. He backed into the space and my teeth started to grind as he turned off the motor, walked to the back of his car and left the radio on.
I don't listen to music - ever. This could require a whole post in itself, but - in short - music demands too much of me emotionally or is simply distracting. (Grand exception: live performances - it becomes spiritual when shared with others)
He then opened his trunk, pulled out the lime-colored lounge chair and arranged it on the grass. Next he produced a golf bag and dropped a dozen golf balls beside a picnic table. I'm thinking, "Idiot! You can't hit golf balls in this park around people and kids." More teeth grinding. He walked to his car and poured a little water onto a handkerchief and wiped at the edge of the the blue paint on the car door. "Car nut," I groused.
Then (My God!), he started to take off his shirt. Oh, yuck. I steadied my camera behind the newspaper that trembled in my aggrieved lap. I'd show the bastard - mucking up my perfect perch! I'd record his obdurate cluelessness, this epitome of graceless humanity.
He bent - half-naked now - over his chair to fan it into a receptive shape and as I readied my camera for revenge and he and his paunch sank onto the plastic webbing, I noticed the tags still attached and hanging beneath the chair (look just above the clubs). It was brand new. My finger itched above the shutter release, he settled back in the bright sun, I twiddled with the zoom feature (got you, you jerk!) and then he breathed a sigh, lifted his arms and folded them contentedly behind his balding head. I reflexively clicked the shutter as something clicked in my head and heart.
So, here's to you - whoever you are. From my contrite heart - may your time on this planet, in this too short life, have many more moments like this one I post today-of your moment in the bright spring sun.