There are good reasons why people stick to their schedules. If only I had stuck to mine!
I was about three hours behind schedule for my five mile walk. Not that I woke up late or that I was doodling around. It was because of the physical therapy appointment, after which I went for a haircut.
Being off by three hours felt strange. Something was off. Even my legs were not marching to that joyful rhythm they usually enjoy. My mind was wandering all over the place without any focused thought. What the hell was wrong with me! All because I was off my schedule?
A late-twenty-something, perhaps an early-thirty-something, was biking from the other direction towards me. As she got closer, I noticed that she was smiling at me. A smile that was way too friendly.
I am at a stage in life that when a young woman smiles in a very friendly manner, well, I ain't falling for any trick. I know that there is somebody right behind me that she is smiling at. But, I heard no footsteps behind me. No sound of bicycles either. I smiled at her anyway; couldn't hurt smiling at people. Especially at young women who are smiling at me.
As she continued with her leisurely pedaling, she continued to smile at me, and I continued to walk smiling at her. A few seconds after she passed me, I turned around to check. Nobody behind me. So, she was smiling at me for real?
Was I supposed to know her? A former student, perhaps? But in that case she would have wished me.
Perhaps I had forgotten to zip up? As if it was the most natural of head and hand movements, I casually checked--all safely locked.
I crossed the river and started walking along the west bank. A few minutes in, the same young woman on the bike passed me again. And, with that wonderful smile on her face. As if she knew me. I had no clue. Am I getting so old that I can't even remember beautiful women anymore?
The rest of the walk, I had no idea what my thoughts were and, kaboom, I was over the other bridge and was back on the east side, only a few minutes from home. Three women were coming in from the other direction, walking and talking at a fast pace. Yes, both the walking and talking at a fast pace. As they neared me, all the three said hi in a loud and familiar way. One added a "oh, hiiiiii."
That "oh, hiiiiii" shook me loose from my unfocused thoughts. The woman who said that "oh, hiiiiii" seemed really, really familiar. I figured I was losing my mind, thinking that every other attractive woman on the bike path looked familiar. But this one really was.
The rest of the few minutes home, I tried to match that "oh, hiiiiii" face with the faces in my mental database. No match whatsoever. Meanwhile, that face of the young woman on the bike kept popping up and there was no match for her face either.
I was about a minute away from home when it was the sound of a casino jackpot in my head. I had a match for "oh, hiiiiii." It was Lori, from the dentist office. The teacher of mine who made me realize that I had been a bad student by not flossing. Yet, it took me that long to ID her face? What the hell is wrong with me?
I reached home. Hours later, here I am blogging about all that and I have no idea about the young woman on the bike.
From tomorrow, I am going to stick to my schedule. It is too damn stressful otherwise!