Sometimes, I wonder if the days that I have are like the days that everyone else has. Then I wonder, is it just me? Or maybe, everyone has days like me but it just doesn’t affect them like me. Or maybe everyone has days like me but they don’t notice. Back in the day, when the subway always seemed kind of scary, we would always be approached by the strange folk on the train. Not so much asking for money but sort of scary in a potentially mentally ill kind of way or an I-may-rob-you kind of way. The kind of situation when you would just sit there begging and praying that this person would not come up to you but then they always did. My days are sometimes like that. The freak magnet on the subway. The legend seemingly lives on regardless of locale.
Today was one of those days. It might be because I am off of my hormones this week. Anyway, I decided to go to Starbucks this morning before heading to the office for a meeting. I decided to not go to the one at the Safeway that is really close to my place. I just couldn’t take it. The line. Always a line. And so, so, so slow. I grow old on that line. And I somehow feel like it is not the workers’ fault. I realize that this is really irrational but I think it stems from when they only had one person working. Like every morning. One person. She took a bunch of orders then made a bunch of the drinks and then went back to taking orders again. I could really never get mad at her. But today, I went to the Ward Starbucks, which is apparently the busiest one on the island (but that could be totally made up). I got to see a guy (let’s call him D.) we know who works there who I hadn’t seen since I was in NY. The place was packed. It was so full of people that it was practically alive. The entire place. Like some weird coffee infused hive. Anyway, I chatted with D. and then, had my coffee, had coffee for my boss (because you do that sometimes) and I was headed out. And then there was this person and I had this totally weird moment where I felt like I knew him. Like you do when you see someone that you know and you haven’t seen them in a really long time. And I almost said hi, to this complete stranger before I realized that I did not know him. It was disconcerting in an alternate universe/past life kind of way. Because it just wasn’t that I thought I knew him it was that I felt like it was good to see him. It was very bewildering (synonym to disconcerting, but I like disconcerting better).
I dutifully attended my meeting at the office after that. On the way back home, I was in traffic and heard screeching tires from the opposite lane. A car in the right hand lane had stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross in a crosswalk and the car behind that car, being an impatient jerk, decided to get into the left lane and pass the stopped car. Needless to say, he almost hit the woman in the crosswalk. So close that it took my breath away. Thing is, I am sometimes that impatient jerk that goes around the stopped car. I seriously think that if I had been that almost-hit-woman that I would have lost control of my bladder. It was that close.
Then, I go to Safeway and it is packed. Like, there is no parking packed. Apparently everyone took today off in advance of the three day weekend. There were people by their vehicles in the parking lot filling coolers with ice. I was feeling a bit jealous. I get in the elevator with these two haole women and they are talking about driving. The doors close and it is just us white gals and the one says to the other how everyone is a bad driver here (in Hawaii). And I wonder if I was not me, but someone maybe more local looking if that conversation would have happened in that elevator. And then I think that yes it probably still would have. This is why locals are sometimes not so fond of mainland folk. And not to say that I have never potentially maybe thought or maybe even voiced a similar sentiment. But I would never say it in an elevator. With a stranger. Maybe that makes me a worse person. Or not.
Anyway, I go in and buy salsa, cream cheese and sour cream. The young guy at the register is a large-ish fellow. He is very friendly and I have seen him there before. He asks what I am going to do with the cream cheese. I tell him that I am going to make chili cheese dip which, for the record, is the most delicious white trash dip ever. He asks how to make it. It is literally three ingredients that you pour on top of each other and bake. I tell him. He says, wait, let me write that down. And I tell him again, cream cheese on the bottom, chili on top of that, shredded cheddar on the top and bake till melty. He writes it down. Asks about the sour cream. That is just for eating I tell him. Am I in some weird reality show and no one has told me? He tells me his favorite nacho recipe and it involves kalua pig.
Finally, heading to my car, there are these two local, local guys walking in front of me. They are in shorts, tank tops and baseball caps (are those even still called that?) I am watching them and then they reach the corner ahead of me and stop. I catch up and one turns to me, says excuse me and asks where the Bank of Hawaii branch is. The sign is on the outside of the building but the “branch” is teeny and does not stand out when you are in Safeway. It’s inside I say. Then they laugh and kind of hit each other, like they are sharing a joke. One has those dreadful metallic fillings in his mouth, a bunch of them. It is a funny moment. Clearly they went inside but did not see the branch and were laughing at themselves. They thank me and head off back inside of Safeway.
One hour or so of my day. So rich. So strange. So varied. Lack of hormones? Freak magnet? The why doesn’t matter because I wouldn’t want it any other way.