In the course of a day, lots of things catch my eye or distract me from more important issues and activities. Often, these are things that others might not notice or care about, but that for me, become sources of great interest or entertainment. I like to find things in the details, which is interesting because most of the time, I’m rarely accused of being detail-oriented.
Sometimes, like everyone, I come across things that are so blatant or obvious, I ask, “Did that just happen?” Recently, I had one of those, and while I’m sure I asked myself that very question, there was no doubt that “that” had indeed “just happened.”
I was tooling through our neighborhood on a walk when I happened upon a guy (I originally typed “gentleman,” but you’ll soon find out why I changed his designation to “guy”) who was doing some work in the driveway. From what I could surmise, he had just bought yard and garden products, and he was unloading them from the back of his car, a model we used to call a “station wagon,” but now I think the proper term is “crossover.”
As I approached, he had pulled the last of several large bags of soil, mulch or other such bulk material out of the vehicle, set it to the side and closed the hatch. At this point, I was still about 50 feet from the driveway in question (you might wonder why it’s “in question,” but again, bear with me), when I saw the gentlem guy pick up one of the bags he’d just unloaded and take it to the side of the house.
Mind you, I wasn’t snooping. This was happening right in front of me, in my normal line of sight as I walked, so anyone (a child on a bike, an old couple on a leisurely stroll, a neighbor coming out to get the mail, etc.) would have no doubt seen the same thing without even trying. (Again, bear with me.)
After setting the bag down at the side of the house, the guy (with his back to the street and to me, thank God), stood for a moment with his hands on his hips, as though he was surveying his domain and considering his next move.
Turns out, that’s exactly what he was doing because his next move involved unzipping his cargo shorts and relieving himself.
Right there. In the driveway. In broad daylight. Without hesitation. As I walked past.
Immediately, I picked up the pace, not only to get beyond the “event” (both physically and emotionally), but also, for some weird reason, because I didn’t want him to see me. (I know what you’re thinking, “Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t he be the one who’d be ashamed, embarrassed or apologetic?” In a word, “yes.”)
See, I didn’t want to be embarrassed by him seeing me, knowing I’d seen him doing what he was doing, which he apparently thought was not only OK, but frankly, “everyday” for him. (I presumed his attitude by his casual, comfortable stance, and the fact that he didn’t even look side to side or over his shoulder to see if anyone was nearby. For him, it was “Ready, aim, fire.”)
And, given the nonchalance with which he’d undertaken such a bold maneuver (I don’t care if your argument is, “It’s my property, and I can do what I want on it whenever I want to,” that statement doesn’t flay when your, well … “fly” is involved), I’m guessing had he seen me, he’d have either 1) looked at me as though I was the oddball, 2) made some comment like, “What are you lookin’ at?” or 3) smiled and waved as though everything was fine and dandy on this beautiful, sunny summer afternoon, a day ideal for yardwork and the occasional urination break.
Luckily, he didn’t see me (though it’s quite possible his neighbors did, since his house was not more than 25 feet from a large picture window at the house next door), and I scampered away as quickly and inconspicuously as possible.
For the remainder of my walk, I continued to process what I’d just witnessed. (I use the term “processed” because it sounds more scientific and practical; likewise, with the word “witnessed” vs. “seen” or “observed” which both sound like mine was a voluntary or chosen reaction to his opposite but definitely not equal action.)
I asked myself why someone, who presumably has two to three places inside his home that are uniquely equipped and perfect for just such an activity would opt to “do it” in his driveway. I asked how he could have even thought such a thing remotely OK in such a venue. I can see if one is hunting or camping in the woods, then sure, do what you have to, but in a middle-class, suburban subdivision?
I asked myself how many times he’s done this (answer: a lot), and what else he does (answer: likely, a number of things) that could be interesting at best, but more likely disturbing to neighbors and passers-by (mostly neighbors).
Admittedly, I don’t know this fellow. I’ve never, to my knowledge, met him and know nothing about him. All I have is my first impression of him (luckily an impression that found him facing away from me).
That said, I hate to judge, but I have to say, it was really, really difficult not to let that first impression sink in (as much as I wanted and pleaded with my brain to wash it away completely and permanently).
The interesting thing is that, within 100 yards of leaving the “scene of the crime,” I saw a turkey strut out of the woods adjacent to that subdivision, gobbling and making noise for all its turkey friends; probably signaling for them to join him in some fun “turkey games.” And that sight only the second most startling “call of nature” I’d seen within a minute of one another that day.
Nature. Fascinating, and sometimes, disturbing, isn’t it?
© 2020 David R. Haznaw