Tag Archives: awkward

Losing it in the Lyft…

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He was a good friend. He was my pastor. He was my father’s best friend. He was my best friend’s father. All week long I’ve been trying to come up with connections that might justify my grief.

He died last Friday, the day of that last post, the one where I wonder how long it would be.

We went over on Saturday morning. I was expecting to lose it, to fall apart the moment I saw their faces, the “survived by”. But my emotions shunted to my core. I remembered much, was remembering much, but could feel nothing.

And there were kids and there was work and there were meals and there was school. By Wednesday morning the feelings began creeping back into my gut. I cracked at Mom’s group for a moment, but there was a bus ride and a school pickup and homework. And then I had to leave for a team building event.

I left the babies and the husband in the middle of dinner and began to walk. I was going to meet a new coworker to share a lyft to our event. The weather was the foggy drizzle in which San Francisco specializes. It was an empathetic touch I appreciated of my city. The sidewalk and I understood each other for every step of the six blocks.

I reached the house and rang the bell on the address. The gate buzzed and I pushed through, but I failed to catch the door before the buzzer stopped. I tried it and realized that I was trapped between the gate and the door. I took out my phone only to learn that I don’t have my new coworker’s phone number. And just like that I was forced to be still.

I waited for someone to come looking for me and then I began texting other coworkers trying to find the phone number. But I was trapped in that four square feet too long. I broke.

Yes, friends, this is when I broke.

So, now, I’m sobbing in my new coworker’s entryway, trying to contain myself, and climbing into a lyft, my first lyft, my very first lyft ride ever.

“Oh, you’re sniffling,” the lyft driver says, “I hope you are not getting a cold.”

“No,” I say, “I’m just sad.”

At which point I break down sob-heaving against the window pane.

But then it gets worse because, yes, it turns out my new coworker requested a lyft line, which is like a carpool. And to my quivering horror we stop and pick up someone else, this adorable young Asian girl who has no idea into what she is stepping.

So, now there are three people in the lyft respectfully gazing out their windows and I am in the back sobbing quietly into the glass.

Because I stood still. And it caught up to me. And I’m so very very sorry.

Nonverbal Communication…

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We were halfway down the block already when I saw him. The kids hadn’t noticed him yet as they danced and raced around me. I slowed down the stroller a bit in order to take him all in. I recognized instinctually that this would not be a decision I would regret.

Allow me to paint his portrait. He was about mid-thirties with those darker European-type of looks. He was balding, overweight, and wearing a bathrobe that opened in a deep “V” over flowing locks of black chest hair. And besides his slippers I’m not sure he was wearing anything else. The way he was dressed and the way he was smoking his cigarette at 1:30 in the afternoon spoke of something salacious. And he was standing in the doorway of my building.

You take a chance wearing a bathrobe on a sidewalk in broad daylight. For that, this man had my respect. Unfortunately, the gentleman was about to lose this particular gamble as he was about to meet a new neighbor, namely, me.

So, as I’m approaching down the street we make eye contact. And because of his general presentation in the middle of the afternoon and in anticipation of what I know is about to happen I smile slightly.

At which point he gives me a look that asks, “What’re you looking at?”

And I give him a look back that says, “Dude, you’re in a bathrobe on the sidewalk at 1:30 in the afternoon in front of my building. What do you think I’m looking at?”

And he gives me a look back that goes, “This doesn’t have to be awkward. You looking at me like that is making this awkward.”

And my look replies, “Well, if you think it’s awkward now, just wait.”

At which point my kids run ahead and duck into the entryway next to him laughing and playing.

His head whips from them to me and his look asks, “You live here?”

And my smile back says, “See, more awkward.”

And then we share a look that says the same thing, “And this is only a four unit building. We’re bound to run into each other again.”

At which point he discreetly extinguished his cigarette and hurried upstairs ahead of us. His robed figure just disappeared around the door of the front unit as we passed.

The next day we saw each other again. It took me a moment to recognize him fully clothed in a shirt and jeans, coming down the street carrying his groceries. But I did. He must’ve recognized me, too, because he immediately ducked his head and turned the corner to cross the street further down.

So, this is what we’ve come to, the gentleman and I, and all without exchanging a word.