Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – June 17, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – June 17, 2004 – I was driving out Lakeshore Boulevard westbound this morning, minding my own business and not thinking about anything in particular, other than my incredibly busy day. It was only nine thirty and I was already tired. This old broad doesn’t have the energy she used to have.
My thoughts wandered to an interview I’d seen recently where a woman was talking about taking the time to really look at the process of living. She suggested that people ought to “look and really see – listen and really hear”. I took this to mean that most of us need to be more observant.
I know that I fly through most days with dozens of tasks to complete. I can hardly recall who I spoke with this week, or what I had for lunch yesterday, if in fact, I had time for an afternoon meal. These profound thoughts were skipping through my mind as I turned off the Lakeshore and headed north towards Bloor Street. About halfway up Parkside Drive I saw a bright yellow Rolls Royce driving southbound.
It was as shiny as a new penny and a chauffer with a peaked cap was sitting up high in the front. A man and woman were sitting in the back seat. The car carried plates from New York. I immediately thought about my father. He always used to say that if there was any car he could ever have had – it would have been a Rolls. I smiled at the memory. I’m sure my father never even got to ride in one, although I know he once went to a car show that was made up strictly of Rolls Royce automobiles.
I looked in rear view mirror and watched the car proceed down to the expressway and disappear. I remembered the woman’s advice about being observant and realized how unusual it is to see a yellow car. My mission for the day was to see how many yellow cars crossed my radar. I thought there wouldn’t be many at all, but that’s because I’d hadn’t looked before.
Now that I was keeping my eyes open – I started to see them. There certainly weren’t as many as the common colours we think of for cars, such as – black, gray, red, blue – but all of a sudden I saw a yellow Toyota, something called a Firefly (I think), a Volkswagen Beatle, an old yellow station wagon that I’m sure rolled off the assembly line a different colour, a new yellow Mini Cooper and a yellow van.
By the time I got home this afternoon I’d seen seventeen yellow cars. Using that as a metaphor, I wondered what else I might see if I was just paying attention – being observant? What am I missing? I’m sure the answer is “a lot”. I’m so pe-occupied most of the time with things to do, places to go and people to see, that one day turns into the next and all of a sudden a month has gone by.
I trust that I’m not going to continue my search for yellow cars, but the lesson is to take the time to be a little more observant. As Tuesday turns into Wednesday – it’s my life rushing by, and that’s something to take note of. Stop and smell the roses. Hey, with the election campaign in full swing – maybe tomorrow I’ll see if I can spot an honest politician!