Sunday, December 12, 2021

Do you know these people?


     I am not, almost needless to say, an especially good person. Not a bad person, mind you. But very little of my time or energy is spent for the benefit of others. I volunteer nowhere. I give infrequently and stingily to charity. Rationalizing the whole thing by pointing to the writing: the writing is my good work. It brings comfort to people, surely. Maybe.
     Well, it's possible.
     That said, when I find myself in a situation where good needs to be done, and there is no obvious third party I can off-load the doing of the good upon, I try not to shirk my duty. If a person struggling with sobriety reaches out to me, I do what I can to help that person, best I can, a phone conversation or an hour over coffee or a phone call, trying to find a space where they can get help. Beyond that, I love giving directions on the street. I am overjoyed when sat next to babies on airplanes, looking forward to the moment when the baby starts howling, and the parent shoots an exhausted, "How is this going over?" look in my direction, and I get to nod sympathetically and say, "We've all been there..."
     During the hour open mike session at the Uptown Poetry Slam at the Green Mill two weeks ago, one of the poets ended his reading by getting down on one knee and proposing to his girlfriend. I wasn't quick enough to get a photograph of that, but I did get a passable picture when she came up to accept. I was seated right in front of the stage, and as his people seemed further off, I might have been the only one to get a shot.
     I don't know who the poet was, or his girlfriend, and since then I tried to shrug the whole thing off. But had he dropped a pair of gloves, I'd take steps to get them back to him—being, as I said, the kind of person who tries to do the right thing when it lands at his feet and can't be avoided. And I figure this photo, of their romantic moment, might be something a couple might value as the years went on, certainly more than I'll value it being photo No. 44,135 on my iPhoto stash in the Cloud. I suppose I could quiz Slam founder and master-of-ceremonies Marc Kelly Smith about the poet's identity, but my guess is he doesn't have them memorized, and would have no idea. Besides, he's busy, with poetical matters, and I don't like to bother him. So I decided the easiest thing to do would be to toss it up here. Word will probably get back to him, or her, and one of them can ask for the photos. If it doesn't, well at least I tried, which is the low standard that I set for myself.


  1. Though enough to take the picture, then thought enough to try to locate the people. Your standards are higher than low. Maybe low to medium, more edging towards medium. But plenty of time during the Holiday Season to move back to low.

  2. I just don't understand why people propose in public. Imagine how embarrassing it is to have her say no in front of everybody.
    And think about the pressure it puts on her not to.

    When I was younger people proposed in private cuz they didn't know the answer in advance.

    I guess he must of.

    I would have liked to have come to that event and checked you out in person to see if you're really as horrible as you say you are.

    I just can't do that dance yet the covid thing scares the crap out of me still.

  3. Public proposals have always looked contrived and overdone to me. Too hokey. I think I remember a video that got a lot of TV time, at an indoor event. Maybe a basketball game or a hockey game. The guy proposed on-camera. Not only did she say no, but she got up and walked out of the arena. I thought that was hilarious. I don't think it was staged. She looked embarrassed, and even pissed. And I really didn't blame her a bit.

    Then there's the kiss-cam. Has the guy ever gotten a slap instead of a kiss? I would love to see that. My wife says that if they ever zoom in on our wrinkled and jowly faces, she will plant a big smooch on me...and then I can slap HER. But it'll never happen, because kiss-cams don't bother with geezers.


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