The Scott Shaw Blog

Be Positive

At a Thousand Miles an Hour

I always find those unexpected life experiences to be very enlightening. Though they may not always be fun, they tend to provide one with a new and enchased understanding of the human condition but only if one is willing to be opened minded.

To tell my/this story…

I was on my way to the supermarket on PCH this morning to grab the ingredients for dinner. In the same shopping plaza, as the supermarket, is one of my favorite thrift stores. So, of course, I must go in there first. I wandered to the back section where they have their books and their vinyl. I noticed a lady back there, looking through the CDs, but I didn’t pay her much attention. Immediately, however, upon seeing me, she starts up this conversation.

“I hate cell phones,” she exclaims. “I refuse to ever own one even though my husband, that fucking asshole that he is, owed the first cell phone company in L.A.”

Without going into too much further detail, you can imagine the direction this conversation was headed. Over the next, way too many minutes, this woman told me her entire life story: what she did, the places she worked, where she went to school—she told me, as altered as the truth in those stores may be.

She asked what I did. “An author and a filmmaker.” What a mistake to answer that question. That was the end of that. She went on and on and on and on about a script that her and her, “Fucked-up asshole husband,” wanted to write. “He’s going to star in too. He’s a great actor. He just couldn’t get a job as an actor so he took over teaching acting for this (somebody I never heard of) great acting coach…” That’s a typical story here in L.A… …She goes on that they are going to have Jim Carrey, Bette Midler, and Ben Stiller star in the film. “Maybe I could help them write it.” She was telling me all of the plot twists. Finally, attempting to halt her rant I told her about a restaurant where I see Jim Carrey having breakfast frequently. “Maybe you could pitch it to him there,” I say. “Oh god, what’s the name of that place? Where is it? Do you have something I could write it down with?”

The whole situation and conversation was nuts. She kept grabbing the lapels on my sport coat to emphasize her story line and getting up close, face-to-face. Thank god I have been vaccinated, as we are no longer required to wear masks, at least in that store, here in Cali. and she was right up in my face. There was even another guy who came to check out the vinyl and he turned and left. Smart guy!

She even invited me to this grand 4th of July party she was going to throw with the people from throughout her life. …As long as I wore red, white, and blue.

Like I have long noted: crazy people, animals, and children, they all seem to love me.

But, she wasn’t crazy. This lady was just tweaking. The pupils of her eyes were like the head of a pin.

I get it; some people like to get high. For those who do, they each have their preferred poison.

Growing up in the sixties and the seventies, I certainly did my fair share of illicit drugs. I never like speed, however. I remember the first time that I took it, I must have been thirteen. I just do not like that feeling of lying there wide-eyed, awake all night. Then, like now, I like to sleep.

But sure, I enjoy a nice glass of red wine or two. A dark beer, here of there. Unfortunately, my father-in-law, who was my last drinkin’ buddy, passed away a decade and a half ago. I haven’t had a hangover since. But, I guess that’s a good thing.

Here’s the thing, and the thing that is very revealing… This woman was sixty years old. I know because she told. When you think of tweakers, you don’t think of a sixty years old, Greek woman. Again, I know because she told me. And, how she used to cook for her father because her mother didn’t want to, etc., etc., etc…

I was just being tortured with her talk. I think that’s the thing many drug addicts don’t take into consideration, how their state of mind, while on drugs, is very abusive to those they encounter. Like this lady, they are just using the people they encounter for whatever it is they need. In her case, it was someone to talk at. Sober, I am sure she is a very nice person. But, that’s the problem with drug and alcohol addicts, are they ever sober and if so for how long.

Anyway… I always try to be nice to people. I give them the benefit of the doubt. I even give them my time, when I have time to give. But finally, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I looked at my watch and said I had to go. She scurried off to the cash register to get a piece of paper and a pen to write down her info. Luckily, she didn’t ask me for mine. I did a quick walk through the store… Normally, my thrift store shopping experience takes about five or ten minutes. They either have something that I want or they don’t. When I got near the front of the store, there she was writing a novel of information onto the piece of paper the cashier at the counter had given her. She was so locked into whatever she was writing; she didn’t even notice me pass by. “Thank you, god!” I was on my way out and off to buy dinner.