Human Interest

See you next year

20141218_105943As I was pressing my hand against the opening of the men’s room door to take care of some important business, a matronly woman of 40 or 50 something with gray hair met me surprisingly with, “Didn’t you read the sign?”

I thought it was my lucky day. This was, after all, the first holiday season I watched “It’s a Wonderful Life,” from start to finish. I mused, in a Walter Mitty-like way, this silver-headed vision of non-loveliness was perhaps a sign of sorts–an unheavenly angel sent to guide me through the remainder of my life.

I quickly snapped back to reality and replied, “What sign?”

Her hand with extended index finger cruised eerily over my shoulder, pointing around to the door face. I didn’t need much more time, nor was I going to be given any, to figure out what I was going to say next.

Coming to my senses, I remarked, “I’m a tall guy. Sorry, I didn’t see it,” and walked right past her displeased facial expression and without stopping to read the sign.

I figured she was the cleaning crew or at least their supervisor, coming to bring the smack to all those “members” that would storm the men’s room before the crew’s work was complete. I can relate with what she was dealing with. I was a janitor while a commercial typesetter while a working musician, during the late 80s and through the mid 90s. It’s always thankless, nasty, hard work for little pay, but instead of playing policeman when I was cleaning restrooms, I would prop open the door so all could see my bucket of hot bleach water on wheels as I scrubbed for money.

Much to my disappointment, and after I finished my business I discovered the sign had been removed. I never knew exactly what it said. If it was a divine sign of some kind, I guess I missed out. Maybe that was what it was. Could it have been a sign that I was missing important signs that could change my lot in life for the better?

For all that 2014 was, and it was so much that I can’t begin to recall it all, it is my hope that 2015 will be less hectic. I’m thinking less hectic will suit me about now for where I am in life. If it’s at least as hectic, though, I’m hoping it will be a little more manageable, slower somehow, so that I might read the signs of things to come better. If years like 2015 and on are even busier, I doubt I will read the signs, let alone see them–making for more of a life similar to that of a man’s looking out the side window of a vehicle going too dangerously above the speed limit.

As the year winds down this evening I will not be out partying with the late night crowds. I have been there and done that as they say. It comes to mind that people don’t say, “Been there and done that,” anymore. They also don’t say, “Don’t go there!” anymore. I know they don’t say that but I still like to “go there.” If I was a guy who never went “there,” I guess I would never have done half the things I’ve done in life. And that would be a shame. So, to the contrary, I would suggest that after hearing something that might cause us momentary consternation or short-lived, painful memories, we yell, “Go there! Go on! I mean it! Go there!”

I wanted to start one paragraph out with “2015” but I know I would have had to spell it out. So, I didn’t want to “go there” after all. One place I do want to go is 2015, though. There’s something about 2015 that has a nice feel to it. It’s so much cooler looking than 2014. I’m thinking you could actually use the first two numbers in conjunction with the last two if you were thinking of getting more exercise in 2015 (as one of your New Year’s resolutions). For instance, you could do 15 reps of 20 different exercises on New Year’s Day (or the day after if you’re too hung over to do anything except couch surf on New Year’s Day).

As I opened my car trunk this morning at the crack of dawn, I realized the light inside the trunk was on. I was amazed. I smiled. I slowed down and admired the open trunk door and being able to view the old toolbox and small boxes of items to help me out in the event I was stranded somewhere out in the cold in Colorado. I then understood I had been in Kentucky a little over two years. The light being on had to be a sign of some kind. I was about to chalk it up to owning a car as cantankerous as I am but quickly thought better of it.

In years past the lights were on but no one was home. Change was something I just did. Perhaps the trunk light being on for the first time in a decade is a metaphor for a bridge of some kind from my past into 2015. I can only hope going forward I will read, if not see and learn from more clearly, all of the signs the cleaning lady angel may leave for me.

Happy New Year!

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