Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Little things

This morning, on my walk around the neighborhood, my mp3 player was acting up by shutting itself off in the middle of Alanis Morrissette and refusing to forward to the next song, so I was trying to find a way to make it work and getting more irritated by the minute. It's a long three miles for me without music, and the trouble started before I was even off my own street.

The player and I finally reached a tentative truce--it agreed to work normally as long as I agreed not to touch any of its buttons, so I picked up the pace and continued on.

On the next street over, a boring stretch marked by intermittent speed bumps, I saw something that changed my whole mood. Up the street I saw a man open his front door, look up and down the street, then dash out onto his front walk and down the driveway. He was a tall, husky man, and he was wearing a voluminous striped nightshirt that hit him almost at the ankle, and he was barefoot! It is 39 degrees this morning and spitting snow.

He had such a fast, fluid stride, as if trying to keep his feet from hitting the asphalt. He ran to his newspaper lying near the end of the drive, then scooped it up and ran back inside.

It wasn't funny, but it was so unexpected and such a bizarre sight on an otherwise tedious morning, that it made me very happy. I will never again pass by that rather plain brown split-level house without remembering how in a split second the sight of him changed my mood for the day.

I love little moments like that; they're like snapshots without a camera, little serendipitous bits I can fall back on when I need to lighten my mood.

Besides, I have never before in my life seen a man in a nightshirt like that, and it may be another forty years before I see one again.


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