Thursday, November 10, 2005

Madness

It's really easy to be labeled crazy in the city. It's as if everyone assumes everyone else is deranged in some way that isn't immediately obvious, so it's best to "be cautious". During rush hour, this guy in the metro today raised both his hands high up in the air; one folded in a peace sign, the other showing off his metro fare card. He didn't shout, wasn't dressed shabbily or strangely, didn't push anyone. People glanced over, decided he was a dangerous lunatic and hurried along to catch their trains (except for tourists who stared and had nervous twitching problems). I love those peculiar souls who walk that fine line between quirky and loony. The other day at work, I was getting my usual hot chocolate in the office kitchen, when this woman I barely know rushed in out of breath and whispered loudly, "Is there any food left?". I smiled uncertainly and said, "umm..no?" She laughed hard. HA HA! Like I should be doing stand-up and not standing there getting my morning beveridge. On the bus, on the way home, a man getting off burst out happily and loudly to the driver, "Good day, my dear man!" in this cheery, old-English way.

It startled everyone.

It's as if someone clapped their hands in front of the collective faces of the jaded, DC crowd of lawyers, staffers, and students and said, "Wake up! Pay Attention!" Last year, this old metrorail conductor sang to us when we got to our stop and nobody cared. He crooned, "You have arrived at Pentagon City, and if no one has said to you today that they love you. Hear hear, listen to me...I love you."

6 Comments:

Blogger blue_flyer said...

I notice the same. Just people breaking the 'norm' so to speak.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Andy's Life in India said...

That was beautiful. I miss DC.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Kenyon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Kenyon said...

As an Englishman, I can relate to the chap getting off the bus. We are usually very reserved and won't say a thing in public, but every so often our hearts sing and we do things like giving bus drivers the time of day and wearing a tie on a sunday.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Brandon said...

I love it! More bus drivers should sing to their patrons! Oh, I miss living in a city...

9:52 PM  
Blogger SuperKat said...

You're so right about this! I love watching it and hope I have the guts to be crazy every once in awhile.

I had a bus driver who asked the entire bus who had a birthday that day...then, when everyone was uncomfortably quiet he asked who had a birthday that week...that month...that year-- and by that time people were taking off their headphones to listen and laugh.

9:57 PM  

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