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Rant #337
(published July 5, 2007)
Things on a Bridge
by Jason Polan
I was walking to get pizza tonight when I passed a man and two boys. I think it was a father and his sons. For some reason I have been having trouble with the "staying to the right" rule of walking. I will walk toward the right and then realize the person walking toward me is also walking in that direction, to their left, I will notice this, and switch at the very same moment they realize this, and the dual will begin. It usually ends with me stopping, and half smiling, as they walk past. The entire interaction usually takes 2.5 seconds. Tonight I was walking over the bridge that is right near the bus stop when this happened with one of the sons. He was walking ahead of the other two and veering right, his left, as we approached each other. We played the timing game with changing veering direction three times before I stopped, stood still, and said "You got me!" I noticed that he was grinning when we went into the third shift and thought we both understood the funny awkwardness. He laughed and the father laughed and then the father said, "You're it!" This transaction made me feellike I made it in the world. They continued walking and I went to get pizza.

Sometimes when I am driving alone over a bridge I like to think about how far I could spread my arms. I think about how far they could stretch. My arms can extend miles when I am driving over a wide and long river.

During the day, when I am walking over the bridge towards the bus I stop and look at the cars coming and going under the bridge or appearing and driving away from me. If I stand on the left I can have the cars drive between my legs and if I stand on the right they drive thru from behind me.

The pizza place has four tables. There was a mom and her son and younger daughter at one of the other tables. They were talking about the daughter going away to school. They were talking about taking drawing classes. She sounded nervous. She wanted a new computer and was telling her brother and mom how she didn't like to draw things from life. Maybe this is because it is usually harder. During the conversation she was drawing pictures on her napkin. I thought it would be interesting to have a script of their dialogue. I then was thinking that I would like to make a book called Everything That Was Said where I write down everything that was said, I heard, during a period of time. I then thought that it might be impossible to do this so I would have to write as much as I could and then write a disclaimer at the beginning of the book explaining what it was. I would have had to do this anyway, but now I would have to explain that the book was going to contain everything I could physically get, and not absolutely everything.

I had two plain pieces of pizza and one Snapple. It was pomegranate raspberry flavored. I usually don't like pomegranate things but I liked the color on the bottle wrapping so I got it. I learned that the Statue of Liberty's mouth is three feet wide from the inside of the bottle cap.

Two policemen came in when I was paying. They were large and I was startled when I turned around and they were standing there. One of them asked for a chicken salad and when the guy working at the shop said they didn't have any chicken the cops decided to leave. On their way out one of them bent over and picked up a lucky penny.

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The Next Rant piece (from Issue #338):

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The Last few Rant pieces (from Issues #336 thru #332):

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