This American Life – 500 Episodes caused this …
I had a terrible headache yesterday. I couldn’t focus. I wanted to curl into fetal and cry under my desk. Seriously.
I had a thought that maybe I needed the fresh air and sun and decided to just take a drive during lunch. I hopped in the car, opened the sun roof, lowered the windows and fired up the blue tooth between my Galaxy S3 and my car and started listening to Ira Glass’s 500th episode of This American Life.
While driving, droning, and semi-consciously listening I started to ponder how the hell This American Life obtained so much diverse content to allow them to live for 500 hundred episodes. I mean, how in the hell do they find these people, and then why do these people let This American Life producers/journalists participate in these interviews to begin with? What kind of madness is this?
Shortly after that thought, and while idled at a stop sign I noticed a young woman in her car making eye contact with me. For some reason I decided I was going to follow her. Not for nefarious or harmful reasons, but merely … just because.
I didn’t alter my speed, didn’t make eye contact, didn’t provoke in any overt manner. I simply followed. We started out at approximately 900 W and 600-ish South in SLC. When she made a left turn, I made a left turn. When she went straight, I followed. When it became obvious I was following her and her speed increased, I maintained speed limit. On several occasions I thought I had lost her only to be surprised at the last possible moment of seeing her left or right turn off of the road I was following, speed unchanged. When she came upon a multiple choice fork in the road, straightest path to elementary school, slight right to road in front of school and hard right to another thoroughfare, and it was overtly visible she didn’t know which road to follow by the herky jerk of the steering wheel did I realize I’d crossed that proverbial line. I slowed to a stop, she followed her path unobserved and I turned around and drove back to work.
I realized after the fact I was indeed stalking her … without reason or cause. That horrified me. Thinking through what she probably felt at the time … which made me consciously decide to dump all memories of her car, her path, her everything. Except her eyes. Piercing and inquisitively sharp brown.
And wonder openly, did she contact the police, the authorities, did she put out an alarm? If she did, did anyone pay attention. While I’m the first to admit I’m benign in intent, would anyone believe me? Would anyone investigate me? Would anyone respond to her alert if indeed she made one?
Simple thoughts for complicated times.
Curse you This American Life.