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TEN MINUTES…

As I stood waiting for the prescription to be filled I was feeling a bit annoyed by the wait. It had been called in at 9AM and it was now Noon. Even still, I had to wait. I took a deep breath and pressed “shuffle” on my iPod and was transformed by The Who’s “Naked Eyes”

Yesterday a guy snapped, jumped in his car and set out to kill as many pedestrians and cyclists as he could. A sort of San Franciso Hit & Run Spree that left many of us a bit spooked. People snap all of the time but it feels different when it happens blocks from where you like to sit in the sun shine and read. As with most horrors going on in our world, it put things in perspective. Well, for some of us.

So, there I stood — safe in the cocoon of The Who.

An impossibly tiny old woman walked up to the counter and simply ignored the three of us who had been waiting for more than a few minutes. She was frustrated. She had a cane. It was clear she required it for balance.

As fragile as she appeared she managed to raise her cane and hit the pharmacy counter.

“Is it ready yet?!?!”

“Five more minutes, Miss.”

BANG! The cane hit the counter. “This is bullshit! I only have about ten minutes left to live!”

There was a slight pause. I don’t think anyone quite knew what to do. Should we laugh? Should we ignore her? I did my best to look at her scrounged up little face and I don’t think I’ve seen such anger in quite a while.

The counter person attempted to calm her. No doing.

WHAM! The cane hit the counter again causing some pharmacy brochures to fly off and land at my feet.

I reached down and tapped the old crone on her tiny shoulder. She sort of turned.

“You will have approximately 2 minutes of life left if you hit anything with that cane again. Get a grip, lady and get in line.” I stated it calmly but sternly. The lady behind me followed what I said with a “Can we hear an amen?”

…The man behind the lady who was behind me then stated, “And, get your ass in line like the rest of us. You’ve by-passed the laws of being kind to the elderly.”

Dramatic sigh. “I may not make it through today with all of this hurry up and waiting”

“If only” —- I couldn’t help it. The counter person laughed. The iPod moved on to “Soft Power” by Ladytron.

Yeah, people snap every day. It is more than a little worrying.

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August 30, 2006. Uncategorized.

9 Comments

  1. Jon replied:

    I’m going to hell anyway, so…… a few dirty hippies being mowed down isn’t that bad of a thing, is it?

  2. ing replied:

    Oh, that news was just awful! And I’ll tell you about who delivered it to me sometime, because that’s a whole ‘nother story, also bad (but don’t worry — it isn’t “worrisome” bad).

    But I can’t believe you treated Mrs. Palfrey that way!! Nobody that agéd should have to wait for three hours to get their medication after having worked hard for social security their whole life!

    But yeah, temper, temper. Some people have one. I think the dude you mention was wired all wrong.

    And sometimes I can’t believe how patient the elderly are, and how well they listen.

  3. ing replied:

    p.s.

    I just read that Barbra Streisand has chronic stage fright, which, her psychoanalyst-friend says that her greatest talent isn’t singing or acting, it’s how well she hides her fear.

    Just thought you should know. I’m listening to one of your mixed tapes right now.

  4. Kelicious replied:

    I’m going to be that little old lady one day, be nice to me.

  5. Brooke replied:

    You rule!

  6. ginab replied:

    Heck yes get a grip, everyone. And Matty call your friend Ing. Go out together. Spin around, smile, dance. Build your own cocoon.

  7. matt replied:

    Jon — You’re not going to Hell. You’re such a better person than you even realize. You’ve a good, gentle and sweet soul. Tho, I personally do not believe in the existence of a Hell. But, if there were one — you would not be welcome there. I am sure of it. …but, I don’t like seeing anyone get hurt. Especially hippies. They only want to help the world. …and, get stoned.

    Ing – I wanna know NOW, missy! What’s the story, Morning Glory?!?!? Oh, and this was no Mrs. Palfrey. This would have been an enemy of Mrs. Palfrey’s. However, you would not know because you shunned poor Mrs. Palfrey on several ocassions. …someday, at your new apartment (which is not pink) she will make a visit. I don’t run into too many patient elderly. I doubt I will be patient when/if I get to be old. And, if she had just made that comment I would have loved her and given her my spot in line — it was the violent banging of the cane that set me off. I agree about the other guy in line, tho. …of course I suppose I sort of threatened to harm her. Tho, I think it was clear I was passively-aggressively teasing her. I hope that was clear.

    Oh, and, yes. It isn’t easy being Barbra. Abused as a child, shunned for her looks/ethnic background and refusual to play into the “female” Hollywood role that was defined by the Industry of the 1960’s — however, I always wonder if she is really as afraid as she says she is. …I mean, no one makes her tour and she is in NO need of more money. But, maybe she is a scared. I think the poster for her new tour will not help her anxiety. All alone in the dark on a big stage with a pop-era boy band opening for her. Poor Babs.. So to speak.

    Kel – Oh, no! You will be far too fabulous to wait in a line. You will have servants for that sort of thing.

    Brooke! It is you who rule!

    Gina!!! I want Ing to go to the beach with me and B, but she has ignor’d my emails. I am not much for the phone. However, our lovely Ing has become quite the cell phone lady! I was impressed as she took dual calls as we walked down Sutter!!! Most impressive and popular. But, this is how it should be! She looked amazing, as always.

    Now, please come to SF so I can meet you!!!!! I can’t afford to go to where you are.

  8. ginab replied:

    But it’s the same price from me to you. And generally it’s on me! With teaching on top of job-job, won’t be until the rainy season. So don’t go moving on me or on any good friend you might have (her name is Ing!).

    -ginab

  9. lzygrl replied:

    OH, how horrible…..I always get a little twinge of paranoia, when I eat at an outdoor cafe, especially in NYC, too many kooks out there!!

    I was just snooping around the blogs, trying to catch up…..thanks for the good reads.

    xoSue

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