Peripheral perceptions

Ever have a moment where you see something out of the corner of your eye and think it's one thing, and it turns out to be totally different?

Sometimes it happens where you think your black cat is the 8-ball on a pool table until it meows at you and throws your reality askance.

Sometimes you think it's a gas pump holding you up with its nozzle as the gun. Oh, wait -- that one's for real.

Well, to be serious again, it happened to me this morning.

I was stopped at a light at a busy intersection when this late 1970s/early 1980s model car -- the make of which I cannot remember, but I'm reasonably sure it was an Olds or a Pontiac of some sort -- pulls up alongside mine in the left turn lane. I casually glance over, and I note the hood and front sides of the car are covered in aluminium foil, and the body's suffered some pretty general wear and tear in the form of several large, albeit shallow, dents.

My first thought was "Gee, dude, nice POS you have there."

...that is, until I looked at the occupants.

This car was not being piloted by some young latino or black punk with an attitude. It was an old man and his wife. They must have been easily 80 years old each, she in her headscarf and he in his day coat. Two people who probably bought the car way back when it was new and they could afford a last hurrah.

The car's condition on the inside was mediocre at best. The inside paneling was weather-worn but seemed to be holding up; the faux woodgrain on the dashboard was still visible, but I could see signs of fraying on the seats from where I was.

As the car pulled away to turn left, I could further see that the rear bumper was tenuously attached at best.

And I felt so sad for them. I don't know why. I mean, there's no way to tell what they're thinking. They could be thinking of the pleasant things coming as the day unfolds, or they could be sitting there thinking about when the end would come. It could be anything; as someone who's contemplated The End at various times over his life, age doesn't really matter all that much in that regard.

I guess I still have impressions that the elders of our society should be able to spend their time much better off than current economics will allow.

The elders are not taken seriously enough, I think. But that's a rant for another day.

Meanwhile, count your own blessings. If you have things that work, be grateful. If they're pretty and holding on by more than a thread, go and do something nice for someone else.

[Notice: My blog will probably go to "random-what-the-hell" format for a while until I feel so inclined to put more into it. I've been remiss as it is for long enough given the last six months of complete and total chaos, which is also a rant for another day. Deal with it -- but according to my records, nobody reads me anyway...]

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