I am not shy about admitting that I am an incorrigible Peeping Tom. I have never passed an unshaded window without looking in, have never closed my ears to a conversation that was none of my business. I can justify or even dignify this by protesting that in my trade I must know about people, but I suspect that I am simply curious.
~Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
I am on a Steinbeck bender. I can not get enough of the guy. It all started with Of Mice and Men. Then The Pearl. Now I will not stop until I’ve read every word the man has written. I read the paragraph above last night and smiled. That is me. I have been looking in medicine cabinets since before I even knew what I was looking for. I love to find out about people, whether or not they’ve invited me to.
I was at the
grocery store supermarket today (I hate that we stopped saying “supermarket”) and was eavesdropping on a clerk and a customer’s conversation. The clerk asked the woman what she was going to do for the day. The woman said didn’t have anything pressing that needed to be tended to, so she was planning to sit at home and watch the rain. I love that she is watching the rain – I picture her on an Adirondack chair in her screened-in back porch with a mug of coffee, watching nature’s violence.
Most of us take those free moments to stare at the television or do something else that is an entirely mind-numbing waste of time. But not this woman. She has her priorities straight. I am finding in my joblessness — in my ability to be my entire self free of persuasion at all times — joy in those simple pleasures. I am slowing down. Not everything is a deadline or a rush or a hurry. Some experiences are worth having.
But I will still be a total bitch to the person in front of me at a stop light that texts through the entire green. Some things will never change. But happily, some will.