Sidewalk Ghosts / Interview 451: “That’s The Way It Ought To Be”

“Nope, I just live by what I just told you…” —Hal

“How’s the essay coming?” she says, looking at me with a youthful, I’ve got it covered reassurance. Editing time for #O365blogumentry is 3 feet to my left and at the helm of episode 451 is Amalie, our guest editor for the day. Hailing from Denmark she is beginning her path to theatrical fame and today she is part guest, part collaborator, in Operation-365.

Calling today a speed run would be somewhat of an understatement in explaining the meeting of today’s stranger now friend. Here is a quick timeline of our account.

2:00pm: The question arises, where should we go?

2:01pm: I lean on all of my well-aged wisdom and reply an eloquent, “I have no idea.

2:15pm: Into the car to begin our search for new friends.

2:20pm: In traffic conversation commences… Topic, how strange it is that in a city of so many, how sad it is that we are so easily isolated through windshield glass. A place where the comforts of air-conditioning, the convenience of speed and the mindlessness of GPS has temptation to direct us away from each other; and even though we are surrounded by 100s of humans as we drive, even they are unaware of our presence. The sidewalks are full of stories, expressions and possibilities for interaction. But from a car saying hello to a pedestrian would scream of abduction. So other than the occasional get out of my way honk, we keep our eyes stared forward without the slightest gesture of unity towards any our foot propelled friends. Now, I’m not suggesting that we start a hello from the car campaign. I’m just making an observation to modern society and its affects on the old neighborly good day. That’s all, an observation. Yet in, there is a call to action. One that does affect our decisions in the way we pace our daily routines. I see in in my life and I’m sure you’ve felt the rush stress in yours. Bottom line, do we allow ourselves the time to slow for a moment. To take the proverbial challenge to, what is it they say, “to smell the roses, or enjoy the day.”

2:30pm: Endlessly drive, North, South, East, West… Boy to I dislike being trapped in a car.

2:35pm: Conversation is halted when both Amalie and I turn to each other. “Let’s talk to him,” the solitary man sunbathing in the park. It’s as if he reached out to us through his sun washed slumber to whisper, “I have something to share.”

2:36pm: Short of coming to a screeching halt, we find parking 100 or so yards from our UV radiated stranger.

2:38pm: Hal opens his eyes to our introduction, and with to the point warmth and kindness (and as he offers us water), he offers us his succinct words of wisdom.

4:23pm: I look back to my left, and as Amalie works on the last pass of editing, we realize the symbolism of today’s experience. It lies in Hals gesture of a weekday in the light of the park. The message is loud and clear. We’ll just let Hal explain it.

Talk soon my good friends,

Richard

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