Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Blind Leading the Blind

I'm 'cleansing'. Doing the vegan diet, no coffee (WHAT THE HELL?!@!) and generally attempting to find a way to sleep without it being a huge negotiation between my brain and my body. As part of this attempt at calming myself down I went for another long walk - with one destination, no time frame. It's the time frames that get me. Schedules and such. I worry, I stress, I put a lot of pressure on myself to run errands in a logical and efficient manner. Why? 'cause I'm like that. Trouble is it becomes paralyzing and I end up not getting anything done - except making my brain run circles.

I've always been one of these people who cannot turn off. Certainly it's the result of too much smarts. Big brain and all.

Ahhhhhhahahahahahaha. Okay, now that was a good joke.

But truly, I can't stop. Thinking too much. It's so ingrained, I can't imagine not being like this. And though I would never have thought it, some people can actually spot it. There was this bouncer at a bar I used to frequent, really lovely guy - we spent an incredible 12 hours together the first time we met. And let's be polite and say we were not playing checkers (and we weren't sleeping). And that 12 hours does not include travel time. A-hem. In one of the brief 'need a glass of water' moments of our non-checkers playing he said to me: "you never stop, do you?" I thought, naturally, that he was referring to my exceptionally vigorous non-checkers playing. But no. He was poetically inclined, (actually had a book of poetry with him that we read on the way to Brooklyn and our non-checkers game) and had just dropped out of the seminary (yes, oh yes), and he clarified: "the cogs and wheels [in your brain], they never stop." I've always found it amazing that someone I knew for less than a day could see that. Then again I've always been shocked when anyone sees me; let alone has a touch of insight about my inner weirdness. It doesn't happen so much.

Yesterday as I waited for the light to change at the corner of 40th and 3rd, listening to my iPod - Baila Me, Gipsy Kings was playing - I felt something nudge my ankle. I looked down assuming it was a dog (you know, the doggies love me) but it was the end of a white cane. I turned around and a blind man was saying something so I turned off the music and asked him to repeat. He asked what street he was on and I told him. He asked if I could help him cross the street. Well, hell, yes. He took my arm and we crossed. At the curb he asked how far I was going; he was going to 28th Street and if I could walk with him as far as I was going that would be a big help to him. As I was going to 14th I was more than happy to take him to his destination. And off we went. His name was Edgar, he was of Mexican descent (Hola amigo! Did he find the right escort or what?) and we had a lovely chat about the weather, what sort of salad I should make for dinner - he was with me on the avocados and mangos - and I left him at his corner and he told me I was a very nice, beautiful person. I put the Gipsy Kings back on and kept walking, with a big, stupid smile on my face. Maybe Edgar was blind, but I'd like to think he saw me. It was just one of those random things that makes a walk a fine adventure.


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

It would be nice if our brains had an on/off switch wouldn't it. I suppose if we turned it off though we might not remember to turn it back on.

It is rare when someone notices the complexity in a person. I find those moments very validating.

Bella said...

First of all, no coffee? WTF? I hope the cleansing goes well; it's very admirable of you. There's no way I could give up coffee. I guess I'll stay "dirty." :)

My brain works the same way - always on. It is really annoying and panic-inducing at times, but I do think you were on to something with the smarts thing. hee hee.

What a special moment you shared with Edgar. I think he did see you for the wonderful person you are. How profound that taking a simple walk could allow you to connect with a stranger like that.