Sunday, September 29, 2013
Number Three Encounter
by BJ Neblett
E mail to the Stranger Newspaper, September 23, 2013.
Please include the following ad in your ‘I Saw You and Missed Connections’ column with your on line personals.
Last Friday afternoon, September 20, it was around two PM, maybe 2:30, in downtown Seattle, the #3 bus. I got on at Third and James Street. I promised not to drip on you as I sat down. Did I?
You were wearing a grey Huskies sweatshirt. You had longish dark hair, a ponytail, pretty painted nails, pink I remember, and a killer smile. You reminded me of the sexy heroine stepping out of the pages of one of my short stories.
Me, I’m just a guy who sat next to you, a writer, a hopeless romantic some say, others aren’t so kind. I wore a blue slicker with a Looney Tunes tie and a silly grin.
We talked a bit, you and I, about the rain, and buses, and coffee, and Seattle, and nothing in particular.
I told you I wasn’t from Seattle. You said you could tell because I carried an umbrella.
I wanted to say more but I found myself drowning in your beautiful dark chocolate eyes.
The lady sitting in the wheelchair asked us to ding the bing bong for her to make the bus stop and we both laughed.
I made you a pink origami duck. It matched your nails, do you remember?
How’s he doing?
Actually, I looked for you the next day, and the day after.
But you were gone and so was the rain.
Anyway, I’d like it if we could meet; maybe have coffee and talk about the rain and buses and Seattle and ducks.
You can be my sexy heroine with the killer smile.
I’ll be just a guy with a Looney Tunes tie and a silly grin.
You can text me anytime.
And remember to ding the bing bong when you want the bus to stop.
I’ll be waiting.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Excuse the rants and raves. But like everyone, I am an emotional creature and sometimes emotions, like actions, can be mis-read and mis-interpreted. My altruism was questioned this weekend and I'm not ashamed to admit that it stung and hurt deeply... those nasty emotions at work again. When writers become upset they do what comes natural: they question, contemplate and write. Hopefully, maybe someday down the line the right person will read these rants and raves and understand. And forgive me for being human.
Thanks for listening.
Thanks for listening.
What ever happened to friendship? What has become of unselfishly caring for one another? Where did empathy go? Have we as a people become so jaded that the simplest gestures of kindness become suspect? When did altruism become a four letter word?
Doing the right thing for the wrong reason seems to be the new norm. The ‘me’ generation has begat offspring strangers to compassion. “What’s in it for me?” has morphed into, “What’s his angle?” Suspicion is rampant and trust nonexistent.
Sometimes I am guilty of letting my emotions control my actions. The result is sometimes I do the wrong thing for the right reason. But why does it have to be that way? If the intent is honest, why must the method be questioned? The easy answer is the world has changed. But the world has changed because people have changed. We no longer accept other’s actions at face value.
Questioning fosters suspicion;
suspicion fosters distrust;
distrust fosters alienation;
alienation destroys friendship.
Man is an emotional creature; it’s one of the most important distinctions separating us from the animals. For true friendship to exist there must be trust. And trust is an emotion, as real and as strong an emotion as love.
We are all capable of doing things for ourselves and taking care of ourselves without help from others. But that doesn't mean we always have to. The next time someone does a kindness for you don’t question their motives. Rather, accept their deed, thank them, and enjoy the warm emotion of trust.
You might just find you’ve made yourself a friend.