Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. No, really! It is!

Most of the time, I think of myself as being a rather observant person. A student of the world and the humanity that inhabits it. Apparently, however, I have a blind spot. It seems I'm so often so busy looking at things through a writer's eyes that I miss some things going on around me. Worse. Things directed specifically at me. My friends take great delight in this particular myopia of mine, especially when given an opportunity to point it out.

The latest Tale of the Blindspot involves this man. He's kind of a goofy man. Strange-goofy I mean. But not like serial-killer strange-goofy. At least I don't think so, but there is the blind spot to consider. Some of my friends and I hang out at a particular coffee place a few times a week, and I go there to write on weekends (the Bean inspires). Mr. Goofy also frequents this place and has for at least as long as we have. My only opinion of him is that he is goofy. He looks "normal" in a kind of 45-year-old mamma's boy kind of way: weak chin, doughy skin, watery eyes. Wears a lot of sweaters that looked picked out by somebody else. Somebody female and considerably older.

Mr Goofy is a religious man. This in and of itself does not, of course, make him goofy. I am as non-commital as I can be without being rude when he informs me for the eight hundredth time how much in esteem I am held by a certain aramaic-speaking offspring of the Big Man With the White Beard. It's a nice sentiment, it just doesn't happen to be part of my particular path. What makes him goofy to me are things like the fact that he constantly goes out to smoke cigarettes in his car like he's trying to hide it from somebody. No matter the weather. In winter, I can understand it. Not when the temperature is 90. And not every ten minutes. Between the smoking and the trips to the men's room, I'm amazed he gets any chanting done. (Oh, I didn't mention that he chants under his breath all the time? He does.) Ok, so none of this may seem goofy to you. That's ok, but it does to me.

So how am I myopic about Mr. Goofy? A few weeks ago, one of my friends told me that she'd been noticing Mr. Goofy paying a lot of attention to me whenever I was in the coffee house. She kidded me that he probably had a crush. Yeah, right, I said, he probably thinks I'm as wierd as I think he is.
Wouldn't you know it? Within a couple of weeks, Mr. Goofy began finding all sorts of reasons to try to engage me in conversation. I felt like an animal in a trap. All I wanted to do was chew my arm off and escape. Rescue efforts by my friends present have been sporadic and half-hearted. I'm not sure what I did to engender this penchant for watching me squirm, but I must have done something. Now Mr. Goofy talks to me all the time, smiling his dough-faced smile and showing me his odd little pointed teeth. And I never see him coming. It is just "poof" and he is right there. Or so it seems.

My myopia is not just concerning Mr. Goofy, or men in general. Even bigger amusement has been had by my friends when they have observed me not observe women trying to hit on me. They let it go on and on, snerking at my obliviousness until they find the most supreme opportune moment to let me in on the secret. I gape in surprise and disbelief and they guffaw. How could you not notice? they ask me. I just never do. My mind is usually on other things, and since I know what team I bat on, I assume women know it too, so why would they hit on me? I have no problem with the other team. (And now, there really is no way to say "some of my good friends are on the rainbow team" without sounding stupid. But it is true, I do have friends on the rainbow team).

After each revelation of my myopic state, I long for the time just before I was let in on what was going on around me. Whichever team is trying to draft me, I don't want to know. I have too much going on. Novels to finish. Novels to begin. A really full queue on Netflix. Leave me in my oblivious, myopic nirvana. Please.