Absurdity of Every Day

A reminder: the winners for the Defiance contest are posted here. I have not heard from all of the winners yet! Please pipe up by Friday at midnight PST.

Facing a bright, beautiful, sunny day with a low-grade fever makes the absurdity of everyday life painfully, hilariously obvious. I’m not sure when I’ve been this amused and amazed. I mean, normally I’m in a state of amused amazement anyway–you could say, along with sarcasm, that it’s my natural default. But today just seems designed to remind me that the world is far weirder than anything I could ever dream up, and I’m just along for the ride.

Things I have seen this morning:

* Several couples out walking. The absurdity: invariably, one-half of these couples has a cellphone firmly clasped to his or her ear. A bright sunny day, you’re out walking with someone, and yet the only thing you can do is yap on your phone? Added bonus: 90% of those on the cells are conversing loud enough to be heard across the street.

* A truck loaded with scrap metal slowly cruising the neighborhood, windows down, a cigar-chomping man with a red bandanna around his head singing along at top volume to ranchero music. This would have been okay if he hadn’t been singing rousing round after round of “Row Row Row Your Boat” in merry defiance of his blasting radio.

* A trail of Almond Joy wrappers along my usual route, as if a suburban Hansel and Gretel had pillaged the witch’s house and decided to go a-wandering.

* A fierce battle among six crows for an empty McFlurry cup. Screeching, cawing, wing buffets, it was incredible. We didn’t get to see who won.

* A ragged man weaving down the middle of the (deserted, residential) street, carrying on a (VERY LOUD) conversation with the surrounding air about red cockroaches. Miss B. eyed him with much suspicion. I reached for my cell phone–he looked like he was having a rough time of it. I figured the least I could do was call someone to help restrain him from wandering out into traffic. I didn’t have time. The man suddenly stopped, tore his shirt off, and bolted. Miss B. looked like she wanted to HEEEEERD him, and by the time I had her convinced it wasn’t a good idea because I wasn’t going to run and after all, there was the little matter of a leash attached to my wrist that I was not going to let go of, he had disappeared. The shirt was still lying sodden in the middle of the road when we returned from our walk.

* A squirrel interrupted in the act of apparently trying to make sweet sweet love to a sad, abandoned, punctured football. Despite Miss B.’s usual quivering glee at the idea of even getting close enough to one of Neo’s furry brethren to heeeeeerd it, she just looked at this particular amorous rodent and cocked her head, then looked at me. What, um, should we do about this?, she seemed to say.

“Just…oh, God. Just leave him to it, I guess.” I twitched the leash and we kept going. However, we must have broken the mood, for the lonely squirrel beat a hasty retreat to the shelter of a dead tree.

I don’t even know.

Anyway, that was the morning’s walk. (I could go on and on, but you wouldn’t believe some of the other stuff.) I would blame most of the absurdity on the low-grade fever and exhaustion, but every day is a new cavalcade of weird here in our humble neighborhood. I can’t tell if it’s because I live here, or just because people are really that strange, and now that it’s spring they can just let their freak flags fly.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.