Thursday, February 9, 2012

Red light, green light.

Driving down Ponce de Leon Avenue yesterday. Helped give prospective parent tours at the kids' school that day so had a few open morning hours afterward to run errands.

Red light.

Do we have any bread? 
Dang. The classical music is already on on NPR. 
I actually like classical music.
I think the "Second Cup" classical music show lady secretly kind of creeps me out. 
Yes. That's what it is.
Just how old is that NPR "Second Cup" radio-lady Lois Reitzes anyway? 
I need to Wikipedia that.
Is today somebody's birthday? 
Wait--was yesterday?
Did I give a check to after school care?
Apples. We need some apples.
Will the kids know the difference if I tell them the Gala apples are Honeycrisp apples?
Damn, why do Honeycrisp apples cost so much? Oh. They taste good.
I wonder what Jay-Z and Beyonce's baby looks like.

Green light. 

Turned to a music station. But no music. Just a whole bunch of loud talking. At the moment loud talking is about some photograph of Beyonce and her post-baby body. I need to make sure I Google that. She look good, one personality said. Yeah, now I really believe that she actually had that baby 'cause you can see it all up in her face, was the reply. She lost all that baby weight already? A caller calls in. Naaaah. That's just Spanx and a good girdle.
Yeah. You gotta love those Spanx.

Red light.

The Spanx slimmer-stocking-thingies can easily take five pounds off. 
That and five years worth of cellulite off if you're lucky. 
Also smooths down a mean mummy tummy. 
Eeew. Hate it when someone wears thigh length Spanx and you can see their Spanx-line.
Looks like a sausage being choked by a rubber band. The worst.
Do we have any milk? I mean 2% milk, not soy. 
I wonder if soy products are really bad for you. I know it has estrogen in it. The plant kind.
I wonder what Oprah is up to. I haven't watched OWN in ages.

Green light

Glancing around the front of my car. This thing needs cleaning out. Badly. Finally some music on the radio. Guess who? Beyonce. Singing "Love on Top." Think I am Beyonce'd out for the morning. Turn back to NPR. This time some dude is reading a poem. Love NPR for that. Where else can you hear a random dude reading a random poem on the radio? He probably isn't so random. He may be the "it guy" of radio poetry for all I know. Either way, I like it.

Red light


Look over to my right. A lady is sitting on the bus stop. She looks to be at least sixty but overall it looks like she's had a hard life. That could mean fifty. Or even forty-something. Something about her draws me in. Her hand. One hand is rhythmically beating, as if to music. I know it isn't supposed to because she keeps pressing it into her torso to make it stop. Side effect from a psychiatric medicine? Uncontrollable.

Beating. Beating. Beating.

Her mouth is moving. I can't hear but she is talking. Definitely talking. And not like me talking in my head but a full on conversation with someone. But no one is there. Yes. Definitely, a psych medicine. Schizophrenia?

Beating. Beating. Beating.

She reaches for her matted hair with that renegade hand. To smooth it perhaps? No. Just to scratch it. Then I see on her wrist. An armband. No, two armbands. From the hospital. Lips protruding and face is sunken in from being pasted over an edentulous mouth.

Beating. Beating. Beating.

Her head swings from side to side. Nervous. Paranoia. That conversation appears to become argumentative. Belligerent. Indignant. But still, no one there but her. And me, sort of. Watching through my window. Big plastic bags at her feet filled with what actually looks like paper. But she keeps on clinging on to it, pulling it in closer with her feet and non-renegade hand like some sort of precious cargo.

Beating. Beating. Beating.

A man passes her and stares. Doesn't even try to hide it. Picks up his pace and hurries away. From this "crazy" lady with the hospital bands on her arm. And she barely notices. She just keeps on yelling at those vacuous people threatening her all day. Waving her beating hand and clutching her plastic bag of nothing-but-everything so that no one takes it away.  Alone. With no one there but her. And me, in a way. Watching and wondering and wishing at a red light. If only for a moment.

Green light.


Happy Thursday.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . .my favorite Beatle, Mr. George Harrison.


  1. Loved this!
    Also, (to nerd out on NPR for a moment) I'm so glad someone finally said it... Lois Reitzes' voice creeps me out too! Not sure what it is... but yeah, creepy.

  2. Man! Your stream of consciousness is very much like mine. I can travel around the world in a matter of seconds. However, once I arrived at the grocery store, I would have forgotten to get the bread, milk or apples! *lol* I'd likely have walked into Target and purchased a Beyonce CD.

  3. Damn. (go ahead and smile demurely)

  4. Dear Dr. Manning,

    Thank you for this wonderful blog about humanity and human kindness. I have had a stressful month and your posts have really brought a smile to my face! You should really turn these into a book- I'd read it cover to cover.
    Olivia ( Pharmacy Student w/ Dr. Quairoli Nov '11)


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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