I fell in love for a moment last night. At the county fair. I noticed him right as we walked up to the bumper cars. He stood tall with blonde, tousled hair that perfectly complemented his tan, taunt skin, and blue eyes that equally supported his sun-kissed vibe. When he glanced my way, they looked kind. His eyes. I’m sucker for kind eyes. I believe they reflect a kind soul. And I like kind souls. He let my daughter on the ride even though she was shy of the height requirement. I watched him as he kindly ushered our kids into a working car. The flashy silver one. The one my daughter most certainly would have chosen had her very boy friend not initially led her to the blue one. And then he walked over in our direction. Holding a red and a blue laminated card he asked, “which one is bigger?” The blue one we said. Most certainly the blue.
Today was a good day. I failed my state certification exam. Again. By one point. Again. There’s irony behind it. This is a written test. Like a sit down, look at a prompt, draft an outline, and write kind of assessment. Written. Y’all! I once won a state poetry contest. So what if it was in 1994. I even beat out my older sister who is a much better writer than I will ever be. I studied creative writing at Florida State University. I’ve written a 123-page thesis on homelessness. Homelessness. I’ve been a high school English teacher for 10 years. I do this every day. I write. Hell, I do this in my free time. I write. And yet, I can’t seem to pass this written test. But like I said, it was a good day. I failed the exam.
I have seen two people fall off their bikes in the last week. I am not proud of this. Watching someone fall off their bike is awkward. My first instinct is usually to turn my head the other way and pretend I saw nothing. Twiddle my thumbs, look at the sky. Anything to avoid the ugly reality that I’ve just witnessed a wipeout. And it’s so confusing. I’m thinking – I don’t want to seem insensitive if the person actually hurt themselves. But I sure as hell don’t want to bring even more humiliation to this unfortunate human. Let’s face it. Falling off your bike is embarrassing. Watching someone else fall off their bike: equally as embarrassing.
I met quite a character in the express lane at Publix the other day. That tends to happen when you walk around smiling and making eye contact with strangers. That tends to happen to me a lot. You should give it a try. I don’t always get smiles back. And many people avert their eyes in any other direction but mine. Yet I still keep doing it. Mostly for that person who looks right into my eyes and gives me a warm smile back. It’s like we’re saying to each other, “thanks for doing this hard thing called life with me today.” Life is hard. I enjoy making it a little more pleasant with eye contact and smiles.
People keep asking me about this jaw thing. I mean, I can’t blame them. I kinda keep posting about it and talking about it, you know while I still can. My favorite question – and no offense to the people I love that have asked this – so you like, have TMJ? Y’all! Asking if I have TMJ is like asking me if have a knee. Or an elbow. Or a pinky toe. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. And if you yawn or eat or talk or open your mouth at all, you have one! Some just work a little better than others. My left TMJ happens to be dead currently. Not working so well.