You Ain't Greg Louganis!
I don't know what it was about the guy that irritated me. My brother and I were headed to our favorite breakfast spot in Freiberg. There was a middle aged guy jogging on the side of the rode with a friend who was riding a bicycle. The jogger was decked out in an expensive looking jogging outfit. That could have been it, or it might have just been the fact that he was jogging.
I don't what made me do it, but I rolled down my window and shouted as we drove by, "You ain't no Greg Louganis." Rolling up the window, I laughed and then looked over at my brother who was staring at me strangely.
"Why the hell'd you do that for? He wasn't diving into a pool; he was running for Christ's sake."
"I wanted to make the sumbitch think about things."
"Well, you probably succeeded in that regard. What if someone just rolled up next to you, and yelled, 'You ain't Brad Pitt?'"
"I'd smile at him, thank him, and give him a middle finger as he drove off."
He looked at me with that pained look again, "Well, that don't make any more fucking sense than yelling that nonsense in the first place."
"Makes perfect sense."
"Don't fucking talk to me. Just drive."
So, I drove. We were on way to the Fig Tree Cafe to have breakfast. It was something we did every Sunday, a routine, so to speak. Afterwards, we would go to peruse used bookstores. Coming from Concord, I always left the freeway at where it joined into the southern end of Freiberg's main drag and then followed that road all the way across town. It was journey that took us through the homeless lined streets of downtown Freiberg, then through the narrow oak lined streets of the old town section, past blocks and blocks of mansions and then to the affluent shopping center on the north end of town. Glen and I never knew what we were going run across on this journey, and that's why we did it that way.
We always passed this one bench by the side of convenience store where a homeless man and a woman were always sitting together and talking.
"I wonder how long it would take if we started waving at them every Sunday, until they would wave back?"
"Why would we do that?"
"I'm just interested in knowing. I don't mean any disrespect or nothing. I'm just interested."
"Well, let's not do shit like that. If you want to help them, pull over and give them some money."
"I didn't say anything about helping them; I said knowing. Besides, I already give money to the homeless shelter. Hey, look at that shit over there!"
Off to the right, a man and a woman had stopped at a stop sign in front of the Hyatt Hotel. They both emerged from their shiny, red BMW leaving the door open. There were shouting at a transient who had apparently said something to them as he walked across the crosswalk in front of them. I hung a right so we could get closer.
"Oh God, Danny, you and your curiosity's gonna get us killed one of these days."
We pulled alongside the couple, and I rolled down my window, "What's up!"
They man, a big beefy muscle bound dude with a scowl walked over and leaned down, "That asshole over there, called my wife a rich cunt. We work hard for our money. He got no right to say that about my wife."
"You right, man. But you need to understand something about this."
He guy straightened up a little, "Yeah? What's that?"
"You ain't Greg Louganis!" I peeled out leaving the scene, throwing up some pebbles and the smell of burnt rubber. I was laughing maniacally, but Glenn was angry at me again.
"Have you lost your damn mind? You can't go around doing shit like this! For what purpose? You're crazy."
"If you saw a old lady slip and fall in mud puddle, would you help her up?"
"Just answer the question. Would you help the woman up?"
"Hell yeah, I would. You know that. But that's got nothing to do with you yelling stupid shit out of a car window."
"That's where you're wrong. All these damn people are living in ruts. We're living in a rut. I'm just shaking shit up a little, offering them a hand up, so to speak."
Glenn just rolled his eyes.
I pulled the trick three more times before we got to the cafe. Once, I yelled to a whole group of cyclists riding by us in the opposite direction. The leader of the group popped a wheelie as I yelled. The last time was at a guy in Porsche convertible. It was a cold, wet day, and he had his top down and pulled up to the opposite stop sign and just kept rolling when it should have been my turn to make a turn, so, I shook my fist and yelled as he sped by.
"Now, you're just being motivated by vengeance. I thought that you were all, 'Just trying to shake shit up a little. Get us out of our ruts''' He used air quotes.
Later, leaving a bookstore, he asked me, "Why Louganis?"
"When we passing that jogger, I couldn't think of any well-known runner. The image of Greg Louganis just popped in my head. You know the one where he looked like Adonis standing on that diving board."
"I still don't understand. What you're doing is absurd. It makes no sense."
"I read somewhere that the word myth actually means anything that's out of the ordinary. I'm just creating myth. Profane, you know, means anything that's ordinary. That's where the word profanity comes from."
"You're just creating myth?"
"Yeah. I read something this morning before you came over that said that what we all need to be is more radically amazed at life, to see the wonder in things. It said that ever since science showed up, mankind has been committed to taking the mystery out of things and making everything profane."
"Hence, the ruts?"
"Now, you are getting it."
"I heard this guy say something good on the news this morning."
"He said that you ain't Greg Louganis either, Bitch!"
"Well, no need to get rude."