“Holy shit, this place is weird.” - Me
All I wanted to do is read a book and relax on my lunch break. I am lucky enough to work a stones throw away from the breath-taking views of the Pacific. This is my place of choice for taking all breaks throughout the work week, an oasis if you will, from the hell-trap on Earth I work in dealing with the silver spoon, brainwashed to keep-up-with-the-Jones’, American public day in and day out. In all honesty I love what I do, no complaints…if only the damn customers weren’t there…but thats a whole other conversation.
Today, I take the long way to the coast to sit on my usual bench to read and decompress from the first half of my shift. I arrive at my bench just at the edge of the tree lines shade at the perfect time of day. As I take my seat there is a man pacing behind the bench on the phone call of his life. He speaks loud and direct to whomever it is he needs to get his point across to on the other side of that mobile device. I do the usual raised eyebrow dirty look towards him and open my book. As I start to ingest the immoral words from my library-borrowed Christopher Moore fiction my new pacing friend ends his call. Good - my eyebrows did the talking again. Victory.
As Pacer stands there I notice out of the corner of my eye another older man, tattered, in every sense of the word, with a sticker-covered guitar case takes a seat on the grass next to the bench. Indian style now he opens the guitar case to pull out 2 drum sticks. Sure. Why not? What? You expected him to pull out a guitar? No, no. This is California, nothing normal happens here. Especially on the cliffs overlooking the ocean in Santa Monica…I really need to find a new oasis…this place is getting weird. Oh - did I forget to mention he has a tarnished, half consumed wine jug with him? My new tattered friend takes his drum sticks, one in each hand, and in no order or musical computation I can make out starts to sing and bang on the guitar case as if it were a drum using his half consumed red-stained jug to accent his nonsensical beat. I slowly raise my head from my fiction in a mix of confusion, frustration and awe. By the time I look over at this tattered man he has pulled out a recorder, the kind of flute-like instrument they hand out in 3rd grade and starts contributing his own horrific, and once again in no music computation that anyone could comprehend or interpret to paper, soundtrack to the picturesque scenery.
At this point I assume you for got about Pacer. I almost did too. As I rip my eyes from the absurdity that is Tatter to my friend Pacer I notice he is in a trance, barefoot, shoes removed and discarded across the grass like litter in a hunched position looking like he is prepping for a human take-off in the vein of Superman or Peter Pan. He springs upright and releases all the air in his lungs like a party favor balloon squeezed of air. It is at this exact moment I notice another man who has sat down on another bench a few feet from me fighting the air in front of him as passerby’s move out of the way of his mighty fists. What the hell is going on today? I sit and wonder then ask myself, "Does this happen everyday?"
Now, I can’t make this shit up. I wish I was this creative and smart but I’m not. I am on break at work and from all sides around me people are going crazy. How in the hell am I going to focus on a book now? And it is now that I realize. If we stop to notice life, just slow down for a minute...the world is a beautifully insane place. Take a minute this week to break out of your 'normal' routine and look to see what the hell is going on around you. Like Ferris said "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around for a while, you could miss it." Or you might find some crazy assholes doing God knows what in all areas around you.
But then again...sometimes....you have to go back to work.