Wednesday, July 17, 2002

It occurs to me that, if I think about it, I can't really think of anything that I do as a routine. The most I can say for myself along those lines is that I brush my teeth everyday. Other than that I can think of nothing that I do daily or even weekly, or that I've done as a habit over a period of time...which is why I am so intrigued by and appreciative of the creatures of habit in the world.

Three and a half years ago, when I was working at Target the first time, there was man that I worked with (actually, I didn't really work with him...he and this other man (neither of whom I ever heard uttering a single word) worked sort of independently, changing displays and signs and stuff like that). Every single night....I mean EVERY SINGLE night, he wore this american flag handkerchief around his head. This was before american flags as clothing were ALL THE RAGE. Every night...same handkerchief tied in the same way around his seemingly dirty and certainly unkempt hair. Hey, guess who's still working there are still wearing that SAME american flag?! Yes!!!!!!!!!! It looks a little more war-torn, and little more faded, but the same handkerchief nonetheless. I find myself wondering about this man with some degree of frequency. I know he's married, and I wonder what his wife thinks about it. I wonder if it really is the same one or if he has a whole drawer-full. I wonder if he will ever wake up and just want something different.

One morning I had just passed this man in an aisle and I started wondering about him, as usual. It was after 8 o'clock in the morning, so there were already customers in the store, and I was walking through the toys section. I walked by the hot wheels aisle and was nearly stopped in my tracks. Another creature of habit from my previous Target life!!!!!!! The last time I worked there the store used to open at 7 instead of 8. We used to get the biggest kick every morning watching for the Hotwheel Men. Every morning at 7 o'clock sharp, the doors would open and in would rush a group of five men walking, no trotting together toward the hot wheels. They were collectors, and they came everyday looking for brand new cars. This group of men was entertaining to watch...not only because of the seeming ridiculousness of their task, but because of the dedication and seriousness of purpose with which they carried it out. They were always in such a hurry, and I even saw them run sometimes to get there faster. And the thing I could never understand was who it was they were trying to beat there. They were the only ones looking at the hotwheels, and they were all friends, or connected in some way by this hotwheel were they racing each other there? The other funny thing with these men them was the physical look about them....a motley crew of people that you would NEVER put together in a group of people if you had a thousand tries. And it was my favorite man that I saw the other morning - a super tall and super thin African-American man with Wranglers, cowboys boots and a cowboy hat....still....same outfit, same aisle, looking for new hotwheels.

I LOVE these people. I think the world needs these kinds of people. They are the ones who notice when things are out of order, who keep things in-check. Hotwheel man and his cohorts keep thousands of people gainfully employed - designing, producing, packaging, transporting, stocking and selling hotwheels. Seriously, where would the world be without people like that?

I think I could take a lesson from these people. I mean, I don't ever want to get all weird about my routines and feel like I will have serious problems if something doesn't go EXACTLY LIKE IT ALWAYS HAS. (You should have seen the looks on the Hotwheel Mens' faces one day during Christmas when we were just plain OUT of them. They looked at each other with puzzled expressions and didn't know what to do with themselves.) But that said, I've always admired people who had things that were that important to them...exercizing, gardening, playing the guitar, I don't know, things like that that they love to do and feel a little bit off about if they can't do them for some reason. I try new things, try new hobbies and stuff like that, but nothing seems to stick. I've always felt a little bit lacking about I lack passion about the things I like to do because, obviously, I don't like to do them THAT much because often sooner than later, I stop doing them altogether. To be honest, I'm surprised I've been doing this journal thing as long as I have (I know, two months doesn't seem like a lot to most people, but believe me, it's the sort of thing I would normally have quit doing by it's actually good to know that people are reading it, it inspires me), and I worry a bit about waking up one morning and not caring about writing in it anymore. I feel like I want to work on not letting things go so easily, not being so quick to move onto the next some way, if I can do that, it will feel like I've grown up a bit. It is said that Geminis get bored easily, and I don't know if it's a Gemini thing or not, but I am certainly easily bored. And I just think that's lame. There is nothing so uninteresting that it doesn't warrant a little effort and attention. I guess only time will tell. I want to be a creature of habit...just one, just one really good habit that brings me joy and makes people look at me funny :) I'll keep you up-to-date.

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