The morning started out like any other day – alarm goes off, shower, breakfast, etc. But as I pulled into my parking spot and gathered up my computer bag, coffee mug, and lunch, a song that I love came on the radio. Rather than hurrying into work, I sat there and listened to the whole thing, enjoying the memories of where I was when I first heard it, what the song meant to me, and all the sentimental fondness that a song can bring out of you.
I was instantly transported into a pleasant frame of mind and at the same time acutely aware of everything going on around me. I work in East Liberty and the sites and sounds are prime for people watching. I’m usually amused, surprised, and smiling most days during my walk to our offices. The hustle and bustle are unique to this community and so different from the typical 9-5 crowd you get in downtown. This community and its fascinating people are my favorite part of having an office here.
Here’s how my 3 block walk went down
Outside of the parking lot, I see a man lurking innocently practically inside of a large, man-sized shrub. He is smoking a cigarette and fumbling with his CD player. The sweet smell of his cloves cigarette wafts through my nostrils as I crossed the street.
I look up and see multiple Kodiak moments, maybe Instagram moments to be current: (1) a beautiful church on the corner with the just-right light beaming down on its architectural features. (2) The corner featuring the Union Pig and Chicken sign with blue sky and perfectly formed clouds behind it (3) Cherry blossoms on a landscape mixed with present, past and future community amenities.
Then, I pass through a crowd of men, ranging from young to old, all hanging on the corner by the convenience store. One asks me what time it is, another smiles and nods, another says, “hello there.” Friendliness and warmth reaching out to me from sidewalk strangers.
A momentarily blip then takes place to interrupt all this bliss. The woman in front of me lights a cigarette and discards her empty carton on the ground. Record screeches to a halt in my head. I kind of gasp, I try picking it up. It drifts into the street, danger. I walk on.
Next, a car horn sounds in my direction and older gentleman dressed for Sunday driving waves hello. I wave back. The record plays on; my faith in humanity slightly restored.
As I step into my office building, I find myself repeating…Today, be a good human. The song playing in my car, by the way, was Today by the Smashing Pumpkins.