As I approached the corner of Van Ness and McCallister this evening I saw a man standing stoically at the corner and another wildy waving his hands in the air. The latter was clearly directing his efforts at the former.
I thought, “Wow, he is clearly putting a hex on that guy.”
I’m not sure why I thought he was cursing the guy, maybe it was too much Three Stooges watching as a kid, or a lingering belief in the power of transmitted energies, but that’s what I saw.
Never mind that the young mother at the bus stop covered her baby’s ears, or that the 20-something man in the suit decided to take the next bus as the verbal altercation came his way, or that I wanted to cross the street away from this scene.
This wasn’t an old-fashioned beat down in progress, it was a cursing.
Only then was it a less sad story about urban life.
For the past few years I’ve been on a mission to lose weight. I’ve shed and kept off 35 pounds.
The pursuit of this goal has required some serious changes. Some of these changes I once would have called crazy. Daily 5 a.m. workouts? Squats? Swimming? Fewer desserts? Healthy snacking? Lunacy, sheer lunacy.
But I did them and I saw results, so I kept at it.
Which is why I can’t judge the craziness around me at the gym too harshly.
I mean, I don’t know anything about why the lady on the elliptical comes in, spreads her four-month old on a blanket next to the machines and works out for an hour.
She’s keeping at it though, a day after the baby on the floor incident, she strapped him to her chest and got on the treadmill.
I hope she gets to her goal . . . whatever it is.
And, if she keeps it up, I’m pretty sure that baby is becoming a trainer.
A few weeks ago I saw a raccoon in my very urban San Francisco neighborhood. I would have taken a picture of it at the time, but my camera died.
And, of course, because I didn’t have photographic evidence, people didn’t believe me (yes, seems to be a running theme this week).
Which is why I was oddly comforted by the sight of this running a few blocks up the sidewalk outside my building:
On today’s run I was passed up by a lady in her mid-30s driving a motorized wheelchair.
Then I was passed up by a man on a motorized wheel. Not a Segway, a motorized wheel. At first I thought it must be a unicycle, but he wasn’t sitting on anything. He was standing on what looked like an Ab Roller, but it was moving without him expending any effort.
Then I saw a dead fish in my running path.
I’m still wondering whether I like running outdoors, but on days like today, the story makes it worthwhile.