Are You Making Things Harder Than They Have To Be?
If you didn’t catch PART 1, check out the blog below. This is our Twilight Zone moment that sealed the deal on realizing that we want to watch our life in High Def, not just have TIVO moments.
On our way home we made a pottie stop. We pulled in to witness the same scene a girl sees at any gas station. There were cars and trucks at the pumps. There were people standing, staring into space, waiting for a click. There were people coming in and out of the convenience store with their Big Gulps and lottery tickets. It was just another day in the neighborhood. Yep, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I, being the one who always “has to go” got out of the car. Natalie sat in the driver’s seat checking emails on her phone. I walked in the door, or tried to. It was locked. I walked down the sidewalk to the next door. It had a large sign that read, “WE CAN AND WILL REFUSE SERVICE TO ANYONE IF WE CHOOSE TO.” It didn’t say to whom or why, just that they could. I thought that was a bit intense, but opened the door anyway. On the other side was a small Mom and Pop diner full of white, silver haired, balding men. What I thought was odd was that each of them looked like the guy next to him. They all stopped talking and looked up at me. “Ooops,sorry, wrong door.”
I stepped back out to look the door situation over again. There were no other doors but the locked one. I stepped back into the diner hoping I wasn’t one of those folks who they could refuse service to. A man with kind eyes, but the same chambray shirt and glasses as the guy across the table from him, stood up and said, “You looking for the bathroom, Ma'am?” He pointed left to a door and said, “It’s right over there.”
I walked through the door and realized I was in an empty convenience store. There were no shelves, no counter, no food, no nothing, just two bathroom doors marked “gals” and “guys”. By now I was really doing the pee-pee dance. I hurried through the “gals” door. Inside it felt like a movie scene in the serial killer’s bedroom. You know, the one with magazine pictures and newspaper articles covering the walls? Everything was covered in strong beliefs of Do’s and Don’ts, Good and Evil, Creepy and Creepier. I then saw the sign that brought everything to focus.
"THE CONVENIENCE STORE IS CLOSED. THERE IS NO FUEL. BUT TRY OUR HOMEMADE BREAKFAST FOR $3.99"
Closed? No fuel? But I saw people pumping gas and until I walked into the empty store, I thought I saw people coming out with cigarettes and Cheetos. Although there was no visible sign of danger, this was reminding me of several Twilight Zone episodes. I was remembering the unsuspecting strangers stumbling into town, with nothing as it seems.
I got back to the car as quickly as I could. Natalie was still looking down at her phone. With the top down on the car she had full view of the parking lot. As I stood beside her I said, “Natalie, what do you see around here?” She glanced up, and said, “What am I looking for?” I said, “Seriously, what do you see around us?” At this point she thought the pressure in my bladder had pushed too far on my brain. “I see people getting gas at a convenience store” she answered.
Like Natalie, I would have sworn on my favorite flip flops that there were people pumping gas and passengers waiting inside the cars. I would have said there was conversation going on, people smoking and twisting the tops off their Mountain Dews. I thought I heard the noise of people…being…people.
I pointed to the pumps and said, “Look!” It took her a minute as she squinted through her sunglasses, but now she saw it. There were cars and trucks at the pumps but no one was standing by them. No one was in them. No one was pumping gas. No one was walking in and out. It was a quiet scene with no PEOPLE on the entire lot but us.
We were on automatic pilot, allowing our brains to fill in the blanks with what we expected instead of what was there. Yep, two girls who claim to be wide eyed seekers living in the moment, sucked into the snow globe of visual white noise.
It made me ask, “How many other cool and incredible things are we missing?” The biggest question was what were we missing on a daily basis? How about you? Are you watching life on TIVO or High Def? Are you sure?