Today’s Adventure Wednesday has been filled with unusual food (black rice vegan sushi, curried butternut squash dip and ginger peach sparkle tea) and unusual art (sculptures made from leftover iron gears and old shovels) but not much adventure. A kind of grey day. Not unlike a few weeks back when I was having a somber Adventure Wednesday because my ex mother-in-law had passed away due to old age.
It was cold, and had been a long day when I got off my commuter train. As I was walking down the platform these young urban teens guffawed loudly as they passed an elderly man, who also just got off the train. It isn’t often you see a man, in his late 50s or so, in a commuter suburb, wearing shiny black pumps, fishnet stockings with garters, bootie shorts, a black corset and a stuffed, pointy black bra. I understood then why the youths were making a crack about him. Being a people watcher, I started to create my own back story for him. I was thinking he was involved in some Hasty Pudding affair, or had been in the City enjoying his own sorts of pleasure, when his “regular” clothes had been stolen…forcing him to come home in this garb.
Although I enjoy my stories, I have discovered that people’s stories are never quite what you think they are (or even what some think “should” be). So, I joined him on the elevator. Looking into his sweet, crinkly eyes I asked “aren’t you cold?” Those who know me will laugh in recognition…I can be such a “mom” sometimes! He made a comment about it not being so cold that morning when he left. We chatted some more, and I learned he was visiting from Washington (“the state”). I don’t know why, but seem to assume that when I see creatively dressed individuals from the west coast that they automatically know about Burning Man (that party in the desert I’ve written about before). He did not know of it, and said he would look it up. We parted at different parking lot floors and I went home. Back in my somber thoughts again.
The next morning I was at the train heading into the City for work. There he was again! Hard not to miss someone dressed not in the blasé worker-be uniform. I noticed people staring and pointing behind his back.
I decided to walk up and talk with my new “friend.” Again, the mom in me came out, admonishing him for not wearing a coat. We chatted more and I learned Rod was a native of my town, and was only here settling an estate and selling his home before he moved to Washington with his partner permanently. He made a funny comment about “do you think I would dress this way if I were still living in my home town?” He then asked me to take his photo in the train station. It was then I noticed how his bright red lipstick bled into his mustache. I laughed to myself thinking women his age worry about lipstick bleeding into the age cracks around their lips. Such a similar problem! As I walked away other people got up the courage to talk with him. And pose for pictures (they asked, and then he did!). The train was coming so I didn’t have time to go back and have a photo with him too.
I smiled and realized Rod purposefully didn’t wear a coat on a cold October day because he basked in the warmth of strangers’ attentions. So, all I have is a quick snap of his back, the memory of our connecting, and the story that made me realize adventures show up, even when I don’t think they will.