Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Swimming Pool (I)

I've resumed swimming a couple of time per weeks. I used to swim a lot and then stopped. I realized recently that I missed it and with a bit of a nudge from a friend, has gone back to it. So it's about 7:30 AM and I am arriving at the pool near where I work. The morning is already beautiful and I am looking forward to the relaxation of the water. A family passes me by as I am walking toward the entrance. There is what I assume to be the mother and her two sons. All of them on bikes, all of them pedaling with enthusiasm. I can't help but feeling the joy of the scene. The health, the good habits instilled so young, the relaxed way to bring the kids to school. As I am reflecting on how lucky these youngsters are to have a mother who understand these things, I hear her scream. She is yelling at the youngster who didn't stop at the stop sign in front of the parking lot. She screams at him to "STOP RIGHT NOW" and he, as a 8 years old would do, is pushing her to the brink by not stopping "right now" but stop and then go some more, and then stop and go some more. She is hysterical now and gets to him quickly, swinging at him and knocking him out of his bike. I've seen enough. I turn to enter the pool

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Junk them!

In front of a Funeral House on Florida avenue, a sign asks:
1-800-GOT JUNK?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Good deed and bad karma

In Baltimore for a meeting, which has meant long drives and long hours for the past 4 days. Today, I am coming home relatively early and I'm happy to have "escaped". At the last light before the beginning of the highway I see a man coming to my car with a small cardboard that reads "Homeless. Please help". I honk , open my wallet and my window to give him money. The light has just turned green and the car behind is getting nervous honking to get me moving faster. I start and get on the highway, feeling good to have helped him even if only with a dollar.

Only back in DC that I realized that I had given him a $10 bill instead of the intended $1.
Now I am annoyed at myself to not having looked more carefully. No more of feel good and just thoughts about checking more carefully next time.
Doing and feeling good on the cheap.

Motorcycle disappointment

Almost every day I would see it on my drive to work. A pale green motorcycle on the sidewalk at the intersection of Florida and W Street. It's a "vespa", an authentic Italian motorcycle, like the one in "Roman Holidays". I grew used to seeing it, day after day. Used to imagine the type of person that would have a pale green motorcycle and park it all the time at the same exact spot. Man or woman? Young or not so young? Used to look for it every time I'd cross the intersection.
And then it happened. One morning last week, I saw him. A man whose face I forgot, about 30 years old. Maybe older. He was just about to leave, on the pale green Vespa. I slowed down to get a better view but he went the other way, up Florida as I kept going on W street. So now I know and the "vespa" has already lost its appeal. I should have closed my eyes.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Car dialogues

On the Beltway, completely trapped in traffic. The guy in the car next to mine started a conversation. A simple hello, transformed into a discussion with our two cars crawling in traffic.
He notices my accent. "French" I tell him and at the next "stop" of our cars, he shows me a CD. "They're French too!" he is yelling at the top of his lungs. "I had never met a real French but they're French". I cannot read the title or the artists name on the CD but I can see the image cover of scantly clad women with large breasts. I change lanes to lose him.

On Wisconsin Ave, at around 9 PM. The car behind me has no light on. It is practically invisible. I slow down to let him pass me and put myself behind him, trying to get his attention by turning my lights on and off but to no avail. It's a convertible and the outside light is enough to allow the driver to see the dashboard and the road. A unlit car in the night is a big danger to all the drivers around so I accelerate to his level and shout through the window. "YOUR LIGHTS!".
Finally success. The lights appear and I hear a loud "Thank you!" Before I have the time to shout back a "You're welcome", the car accelerates and it is gone in a minute..