Friday, September 02, 2005
the bursting of my bubble
It's a habit I've had since college. I would wander around campus gazing intently at the pages of my book depending on my peripheral vision to not walk into a palm tree. You can blame my love of books on my father who once told me, "If you'll read, I'll buy the books." You can believe that I took advantage of such a promise.
"But isn't that rather unsociable to walk around with your nose in a book?" you ask.
Absolutely. But here's why I started doing it ...
1. It appeared a waste of time to just walk when I could both read AND walk at the same time.
2. I was shy about looking people in the eye.
You can blame that one on northern Germany. When walking down the street, it's just not done to look someone in the eye. It makes people wonder why your looking at them. And heaven forbid you should smile! Why, the other person might think that you were laughing at them. This is the culture I was coming from ... which fit nicely with my already shy demeanor.
But I fear I've nurtured this habit for too long.
Today I was walking from the cafeteria to the Founders Cafe with my nose in an exciting new book (The Oxford Book of Story Poems)! Class must have just gotten out because there were a lot of people on their way to lunch. Then all of a sudden, someone touched me.
Remember the woman in the crowd that touched the hem of Jesus' garment? Remember how Jesus reacted? I whipped around to see who had touched me.
What's the big deal?! Ha! This reflex also hails from my college days. Remember that certain Christian college in Pensacola, Florida, that I mentioned earlier? Well, all the stories you've heard are true ... and worse. One of the rules I discovered by breaking was that it is not permitted for male and female students to touch each other ... even indirect contact is punishable by demerits. Four years of this rigid lifestyle takes it's toll on an individual, and it has left me paranoid when I am touched, especially in a crowd.
Anyway ... I was whipping around, wasn't I ...
"Hey, Chrisssstiiiiiiinnnnnnnnne ...."
Everything had gone into slow motion. Bruce's voice became deep and slow as I first felt something behind my legs. The world around me began to rotate till I could only see the ceiling in front of me as my body became lodged in the janitor's trash can that had just been rolled out of the bathroom behind me when I turned to see Bruce. So there I was ... lunchtime rush-hour in the hallway with my legs sticking up out of the garbage.
Well, not really. But it could have happened! It almost did. Just ask Bruce and J. Ro. How cool would it have been if it actually had! Oh man! What a good laugh that would have been! Ha ha! But that's me ... I'm always on the look for a good laugh ... especially if it makes a good story.