Thursday, June 2, 2011 | By: Brianna

Random Acts

Q:  So what's the title about?

A:  The title of this post is an excuse for me to write about something random.  Today I was "working" by putting up posters for a street fair in a nearby suburb.  I've helped out with this fair before, and this would be the third year that I helped out.  

My first year, I did a lot of traffic directing (which really meant that people drove past me and got annoyed with me when I told them that they were in the wrong place and would have to move), though a lot of people ignored me because I was 18 and I looked it.  I also did a lot of that one job that everyone loathes, the one where you sit in a chair at one of the fair entrances and ask "Would you like to make an optional $1 donation?"  But I really spent a lot of time listening to my partner talk about the sci-fi/fantasy books that he read.  My second year (last year), I did a lot of odd jobs.  I moved tables, I helped pass out t-shirts that vendors had ordered, and I helped direct traffic (this year meant that I really just got in the way of cars causing my partner to worry that I would get hit by someone) until I was put on "lemonade stand duty."  Working at the lemonade stand gave me an excuse to be loud and obnoxious to get people to come buy lemonade from us.  My partner wasn't that extroverted, so it was up to me to entice customers by asking them to "help support me and my 15-year old husband...and our 8 children."  Or "help us win a competition against the other lemonade stand across the fair ground" by helping us sell more lemonade.  That and the tips. We got to keep our tips.  You wouldn't believe the amount of tips I walked away with that night...I was half afraid that someone would notice the swagger in my step as I walked away with pride.

This year...well this year I don't get to help with the actual fair.  Which is a bummer, because I would have liked to spend an entire day at the lemonade stand.  Mostly because I would love to see if I could break the record I set for myself last year.  Anyway, this year I got to help with putting up posters for this fair...two weeks in advance.  I spent 4 hours asking local businesses to put up posters, and I got paid a hefty sum, so I walked away happy.

During the day, I was at a little coffee shop in the neighborhood, and I was waiting to get the attention of the guy at the counter.  I was standing behind this shy-looking girl with glasses (she looked nothing like my obnoxious self in the over-large t-shirt), and she kept doing this little "look up, look down" thing at the guy standing behind the counter.  Definitely looked like she was interested in him, and he wasn't bad looking.  So I asked if I could put up a poster and he pointed me toward the ad board toward the back of the shop.  Then I had to walk back to the front door to get out of the place, so I had to pass Glasses Girl.  I thought about it, and then I decided "what the hell," so I leaned over and told her "He's cute, you should ask him out," smiling as I left the shop.  Probably one of the single-most gutsy things that I've done in my life.  Well.  Maybe not.  But still.  Random.  So maybe that's my attempt at being Jane Austen's Emma for a complete stranger.

That got me thinking, so I scribbled a poem.  Which sounds absolutely ridiculous: "And then I was suddenly inspired and wrote a masterpiece..." but there it is.  Rough, yes.  But it's a start, yeah?


Look up
     look down
     lips together.
Look up
     under lashes
     look down.
     in eyes so tired.
     her own sandals
     and tile floor.

     blue like sky,
     today overcast.

     to be breeze
     whispering clouds
     guessing refusal.


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