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When I was sick as a child, I would take the tiny 70s-vintage color TV into my room and watch PBS while sitting in bed. I remember a made-for-PBS special about a group of children being raised on a colony world of Earth where it rained all the time and the skies were always gray. The sun would come out over the settlement only every ten years or so, so most of the children had never seen direct sunlight in all of their lives. But once in a great while, the sun would peek through for a few scant minutes, and it would be a day of celebration and rejoicing.

I felt like one of those children, shocked and confused, as I sat in a dentist's chair this morning and saw, for a few fleeting moments, clear blue sky. A FedEx 757 flew through the window-framed view as I thought to myself "What the hell is wrong with the sky?"

Oh. It's supposed to look like that. I forgot.

My other moment of weirdness today was on the bus ride home from class. I was almost home; the 49 was passing by Broadway Market, pulling up to the stop outside the QFC, when a spindly man (wearing heavy rouge, eyeshadow and lipstick, a ragged and uneven blue-dyed goatee, tight tight shorts and a pink sweater with a scarf thrown around his neck) minced up to the bus, smiled madly and leaned out and tapped the window of the bus right in front of my face with a long thin stick made of light, flexible wood, like the Fairy Godmother bestowing pixie dust on a weary, virtuous stepsister.

I was startled, and since startlement leads to stress, and I don't need more stress, I then became annoyed. But I stopped myself and thought: it wasn't a harrassing gesture. It was really kind of nice, in a scary, insane sort of way. And it made me feel a bit better about what was generally a pretty unpleasant day.


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Kesper North

February 2011

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