I spend my days being randomly delighted. A lot of these little joys happen while I am walking or riding the bus. This morning, waiting at my stop, I heard a homeless person urging one of his friends not to feed cheddar to the pigeons. “They don’t like cheese,” he said. “Gives ‘em gas.” Who knew? I’d never think to feed cheese to a pigeon, but next time I’m grilling up a Swiss on rye I’ll know not to share it with my feathered friends. Of course, he could be wrong, but I’m not taking any chances.
Walking during lunch I saw a cool acoustic guitar in a pawn shop window. It had inlaid silver stars on the frets, and the sides of the body were bright red. The front of the guitar had a picture of a man on a horse. The man was on a butte, and he was looking down at a Hispanic beauty in a flared skirt. I instantly got music in my head. “Down in the old Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a Mexican girl. . . .” The guitar was depicting a scene from a Marty Robbins song I’ve loved since I was a child. How marvelous.
Nearby the pawn shop was the Showbox theater, a venue that gets all sorts of musical acts. A group called The Cult is playing there soon, which inspired the sign on the door: “The Cult is sold out.” This cracks me up. It’s a surreal kind of sign. To me this says: “The end times are coming, but all the tickets on the space ship are reserved. If you would like to put your name on a waiting list for the next apocalypse, please sign here. We apologize for the inconvenience, but the rapture is very popular.”
I suppose these little things delight me because of what my brain adds to them, and that’s part of how I write. I love this, because one vintage handbag or funky guitar could inspire a whole book of essays. Each writer brings his own baggage to the train. I’d love to look in that compartment, wouldn’t you?
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
62. What interesting little tidbits did you overhear today? Did you see something nifty? Share these experiences with someone else. You can share them in all their raw glory, or use them as seeds for something else entirely.