After work tonight I wandered to the local market to search out the Asian bitsies I needed to pull off making a stir-fry dinner for a friend. There, I spotted a fellow I know from my neighbourhood liquor store (here in BC we have a government branch that sells us booze in their strictly-booze shops… makes you go hmm, hmm?) and nodded the perfunctory “I sorta know ya, so hi” nod. He reciprocated with a like nod and carried on, hefting his huge sack of rice onto the checkstand conveyor.
This guy stands out for me in more ways than one, but the most important being how much he seems like he’s breathing because it’s expected of him. You know, barely alive, completely uninterested, the kind of person who seems to have missed the memo that life is filled with experiences and wonder. There are many kinds of tragedy in life, but those who just don’t get the wonder of life strike me as the most senseless sort of tragedy there is.
Shortly thereafter, I made my slow-assed way home on my sad little wounded scooter, happy to be breaking the speed limit by a lofty 5 kilometres per hour. Chugging contentedly along, I approached, then passed, a wine-coloured minivan, going slow enough to assure me it had to be a government employee driving.
Sure enough, the driver was my barely-there, bored to tears local booze-hockin’ liquor store clerk.
That got me pondering. It had me wondering just how unsatisfying one’s homelife must be to take that long, slow, almost hesitant drive home.
Or does it even have to be unsatisfying? Perhaps it just has to be demanding. Maybe demands are just as punitive as an unfulfilling life can be. Perhaps it really doesn’t take much at all.
It’s pretty easy to forget that a world exists beyond the mundanity of the 9-5 and routines we all fall into, the older we get. I refuse to believe that I’m the only one who has the periods of just coasting through life. Sometimes getting by is an accomplishment enough, you know?
I had one of those moments this morning where I realized I was acting like one of the faceless drones that inspire so much sympathy and query in me. Something in me snapped back like a rubber band and I slowed my scooter to a stop at an intersection, gave my head a shake (literally), took a moment, opened my eyes and looked around. Amazing how easy it is to adjust one’s attitude sometimes.
My day then got off to a better start. Everything shifted. Something tells me this guy’s gonna unwittingly remind me to be grateful for everything that comes my way every time I go and buy a bottle of red wine at his counter. And is that really a bad thing?