It was a warm, sunny late afternoon. As I approached the intersection, I saw several police cruisers. Just beyond the cruisers were the yellow police tapes. There were several policemen standing around. Then I saw the body. It was covered with a pink orange blanket from an ambulance.
Was it a homicide? An accident? An overdose? There are quite a few homeless people in the area. Was it one of them?
A few hours later, on my way home, I passed the intersection. The police cars were all gone. The yellow tapes were on the ground and the area where the body was wet. It had been hosed down. After I crossed the street, the skies opened up with a heavy rain. I was drenched by the time I got my umbrella out from my knapsack.
I checked the news sites and police reports when I got home. But there weren’t any reports. Nothing. Whoever it was – rest it peace.
It’s just been hard to muster enough energy and positivism these past few weeks. I’m just not able to focus and be productive. It’s like the dark, winter nights have taken over. Hopefully it’s just a phase that I can work through.
I was talking with a fellow job seeker the other day. She told me her LinkedIn is finally starting to get a lot of visits. She had followed the advice of a career coach. I did a quick check of the coach’s rate and it was $120 / hr. I have no idea if that is reasonable.
After chatting with her, I went to her LinkedIn to see what I can do to spruce up my own. This is the part of job hunting I’m not entirely comfortable. I’m more of a private person. But I know using LinkedIn is part of the process. So what will I need to beef up my profile? It’s not getting a lot of hits.
Maybe I should take some tips from some of you who are using Tinder, Grindr, or Jack’d. Should I emphasize my transferable skills to show how versatile I am? I can’t play hard to get. So maybe I should add a sultry, hungry look. I just need a plate of fried rice in front of me. What are employers looking for? The tops of course. I mean someone who rose from the bottom to the top of the organization.
I understand the pain and pleasure of working long hours. You burn both ends of the candles, watching the wax slowly drip. Maybe that’s what employers want. Someone who can handle pain. I’ll add private photos too. But it’ll be pixelated of course.
Sometimes I have to make this tedious process seem like fun.
I don’t have kids. But if I was a parent, I think I would be stumped on a daily basis.
One of the girls I work with at the library seemed to be in a bad mood when it was time for her session. As we walked to the room, she asked me if I ever got so angry at someone that I swore at them. Hmm… how do I answer?
I asked her do you mean use very bad words? She said “Yes, like the f word and the other one that starts with m.” I was surprised. But she said all her classmates use those words (she’s in grade 3). I don’t remember learning the f word until I was 13 or 14.
She was in a better mood at the end of the session. There was still some time left and she wanted to watch videos on the iPad. Her favorite videos are slime videos. But this time she was watching videos of people with long nails, children born without limbs and so on. Then she clicked on a video “11 year old transgender”. Hmmm…. she watched in silence for a few seconds and then asked “What’s a transgender?”
I told her, I don’t think she really understood. But she got bored with it and switched to another video about a girl who keeps cockroaches as pets. It was gross. This kids keeps hordes of cockroaches in her bedroom. My student was happy I was so grossed out by it and kept saying “look at this!” I would then make the most gross out face I could.
The other girl did a bit of homework after she finished reading. She’s not really suppose to do homework but we use our own judgment. I typically don’t help her unless she’s really stuck. I was watching her write a sentence. “The monsters sleeps in garbage cans.” I told her it should be sleep not sleeps because monsters is plural. Then I wondered if monster is a collective noun.
But she looked at me and said, “no – it’s sleeps”. So I made a snooty face and told her “Fine… if your teacher finds the error, don’t blame me.” She looked at me but continued with her work. After a while, she covered her work with her hand so I couldn’t see what she was writing. Then she asked me to help her spell a word. I made her try first before giving her the answer. As she wrote out the word, I noticed she had already corrected sleeps to sleep. Sneaky little kid….
One thing I am always conscious of is my mood. If I had a bad week or a bad day, I try not to let that show. I’m pretty sure kids pick up on these things.
I was almost home when I saw a cat near the sidewalk. There used to be a cat in this area that would always “meow” at me and loved to be petted. I took a step closer and this cat just scurried away. A man who was standing nearby told me the cat’s name and said it’s an outdoor cat. We started chatting, first about the raccoons and skunks in the area, his car and how much the neighbourhood has changed. Then another guy joined us. He knew the first guy and also lived in the area.
So the 3 of us were in the sidewalk chatting about politics, a bit of about music, economy, funny stuff and so on. I thought I’ve seen the 2nd guy before and once I got home I remembered. I had stopped by a bookstore while walking home. In front of the store was a cart with books on sale. He was standing beside me when I was looking at the cart. He started to ask about books and then shifted to the meaning of life, how energy flows in people and leading tours to sacred sights around the world. I know. I was a bit wary but he seemed like one of these harmless, eccentric people you run into. So it was kinda weird seeing him again.
Then as we were about to finish, I saw the Asian, geeky looking barista who works at the nearby coffee shop I go to. I had just came from there and was still holding on to my coffee. We both looked at each other as he walked past but he didn’t recognize me. Oh well.
It’s was one of these weird days when I think the universe is trying to tell me something. But I’m just a bit too dense to figure it out. Or maybe the universe is just trying to mess with my mind.
My sister’s neighbours are an elderly couple. Both have health issues. They have always been good to us since we moved in many years ago. (my sister lives our original home) With their health issues, they have trouble going to medical appointments and cooking. The husband still insist on driving although he shouldn’t be. He is forgetful, a bit slow, and has fallen a few times. But they are proud and independent. My sister helps out where she can. She checks in on them, helps out with errands, the occasional meals but she works and can’t be there all the time. She told me they order frozen dinners from a well known community organization but they look so unappetizing.
What gets me is their 3 sons don’t seem to notice. While they do drop by every so often, they don’t help with meals, errands, appointments or maintenance around the house. One lives within walking distance and didn’t come by to help shovel their driveway during the winter storms. None of them seem to notice the lack of elderly aids in the house. My sister gets so angry at how oblivious the sons are.
I just don’t understand.
I reread Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for The Time Being a few weeks ago. It captured my imagination a couple of years ago when I read it while vacationing in Taiwan. I was already in a different world and Ruth Ozeki transported me into her world every time I opened the book.
This time,I would would read it again but armed a bit of knowledge from my creative writing course. Maybe I can figure out how she did it and learn some of those skills. As I reread the book, I tried to stay objective and not get carried away by her words. But that didn’t work. The book seduced my imagination before the first chapter even ended. The words drew me in. I was soon walking with the narrator on the shores of Vancouver Island and then to Japan.
I gave up trying to pry the book’s secrets and allowed the book to take me away. I had forgotten parts of the story. It was good to rediscover them. When I finished the book I was a bit sad I didn’t figure out her secrets. But I did enjoy the ride.
I’m rereading Wayson Choy’s All That Matters now. This time, I decided to just let the author take me for a ride. If I can glean a bit of his technique then I’ll be happy. I really need to carve out some time to write.