Monday, January 09, 2006


So every time I think I left the crazies behind when I left New York City, Pittsburgh proves me wrong. Tonight, at 10 pm when I was miserably waiting in the cold for my bus home from campus, an elderly lady sat next to me on the bench. She began wrapping herself in scarves, hats, gloves, and a red parka before telling me all about how much she enjoys her continuing education classes in the film department. She listed faculty members, asked me what I was doing there, and then said "Do you like to sing?"

This lady then tried to get me to join her political sing-along group that meets Wednesdays and Saturdays on Mount Washington. They already have a piano player and a guitar player, so I would just need to sing if I went. I'm not sure at what stage in life people stop recognizing body language. I had my feet propped up on the glass wind wall, my head hanging back over the bench, eyes closed. I rubbed my cold thighs with my gloves and prayed for my bus to come. I had to cram in between two fat people in order to not sit near her on the bus.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Newman started having terrible back pains. At one point, she had to lie down on the floor and moan. When your 76 year old arthritic, osteoperosis-riddled boss about whom you care very much lays on the floor moaning, you get stressed out. She told me that she often lies on the floor when she is in pain. In fact, she has delivered lectures lying down on stages, holding a microphone to her mouth. "The audience is very silent," she said when I asked what people do.

Can you imagine attending a lecture when the speaker suddenly informs the audience she needed to lie on the stage and moan in pain? I just hope she is feeling better soon because she is flying to Alaska to meet her new grandbaby. The strangest part is that I think Dr. Newman would love to join the crazy lady's political sing-along group. She does, after all, play the bells when she hikes in Wyoming.

1 comment:

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