(Preface: I have nothing against Christians. Some of my family friends – and friends – are. I just happened to find the following to be funny …)
Last Friday morning, I was standing on the Scarborough RT (rapid transit) platform, listenin’ to the old iPod and waiting for the next train to arrive.
Then I looked to my left and saw him – Crazy RT Guy.
Backstory: Crazy RT Guy is this middle-aged dude who (to me) always looks dirty, wears these huge Coke-bottle glasses, and has what I think is an enormous head (which I’m pretty sure is due to some kind of medical condition that makes him a bit unstable).
Every time the RT pulls into the station, no matter where he is, Crazy RT Guy ALWAYS comes rushing up to the first car – which I always ride in – and pushes his way in front of whomever is rightfully standing there, kinda erratically waving his arms in an “out of the way!” fashion, just so he can get in the car first. And during the ride, he’s always gesticulating to people who lean on the glass, not to do so … tapping on the glass, scolding, that sort of thing. He’s a bit like the Rain Man of the RT.
Anyway … I saw him standing about 20 feet away and thought, oh man. Why do I have this feeling he’s going to push his way into my car? He comes my way, I’m definitely moving back.
So while I was waiting – and watching Crazy RT Guy out of the corner of my eye – I could hear, over the noise of my iPod, this lady singing. I figured, meh, it’s one of those middle-aged church ladies who likes to sing hymns. No big deal. Sure enough, this tiny black lady dressed in black passed behind me, singing.
But within moments, I noticed she wasn’t just singing. She was practically dancing, snapping her fingers. I kept trying not to notice, but then I kept looking at her, swaying and snapping. I even entertained the thought that maybe she was having an impromptu rehearsal for a choir she might be in. ‘Cause who’s that happy – or crazy – at 10 a.m. in the morning?
So the RT pulls up. Sure enough, Crazy RT Guy came bustling towards the first car. I stepped back well ahead of time to avoid his manic behaviour in front of the doorway, and got into the other set of doors nearest to the front of the car.
Inside the sparsely-populated car, I tried to listen to my iPod. Crazy RT Guy was sitting in the middle of the car, clutching his dirty bag.
Singing Church Lady was still singing. And dancing.
I’ve heard about making a joyful noise unto the Lord. But all that was missing from girlfriend’s routine was some Holy Jazz Hands.
About three or four minutes into the trip – and I didn’t actually see this – I guess Singing Church Lady wanted to spread the joy, particularly to Crazy RT Guy. But he wasn’t having any of it.
“STOP,” I heard him say, loudly and sharply.
I guess Singing Church Lady didn’t believe he honestly meant that, because I think she was trying to talk to him when again he barked:
I think she then was trying to convince him that she was happy and should be allowed to express herself, and that everyone was here for a purpose.
That’s when I saw him frantically make small circular gestures with his fingers near his temples.
The international gesture for “crazy”.
I smirked. That was rich.
I think she told him she loved him, ’cause he did it again!
I just shook my head. But, of course, that was also the precise moment at which she turned away and made eye contact with her.
She was grinning. Almost maniacally, now that I look back on it. She might possibly be able to beat the Dalai Lama in a smile/laugh-off, if there ever was such a thing.
And she started talking to me. I realized I still had my earbuds in my ears, so I missed about half of what she said. I figured she was talking about Crazy RT Guy.
Then I removed my earbuds, and all I remember her saying was, “I see you’re listening to your little (gadget) … He’s here for a reason, you see. You, too. We are all here for a reason.” The woman was nodding, practically giddy. I smiled wanly and nodded weakly. And then when Crazy RT Guy got up and huffily waited for the train to pull into his stop, she turned back to focus on him, and I promptly stuffed my headphones back into my ears.
By the time Crazy RT Guy departed the train, the woman did stop dancing. But she never stopped smiling.
Listen. People who look happy usually make me smile a little. But I was never happier than when I saw the back of that woman’s head as she stepped off the RT and down the elevator.
If that’s what “high on life” is actually like, I’m not entirely sure I want to be.
(Unrelated Post-Script: I just realized that today was my second blogiversary. Yay, me!)