Alitha, the bus, and pooping birds

by mikey on April 17, 2010

I left my tonsils in Houston, Texas.

When I moved to Canada I had to get used to not hanging out with old people. I find that in most places in Canada that I have seen, there are ghetto’s of the elderly. In Vernon we have a few coffee shops where elderly people hang out, and it feels very segregated. They have their own buildings and assisted living situations, their own routines and sports leagues. It’s actually difficult to get to know older people when you’re 25 like me. And that sucks! I need people in my life who are different than I am, who are older and wiser and have stories to tell.

I took a bus yesterday from Vernon to Seattle and for a large part of the trip I sat next to a 75 year old woman named Alitha. She was wonderfully beautiful and hilarious. She told me about her children, her gardening hobbies, her troubles growing up, the pain she felt, how her body was aching and breaking with age, and she even shared hilarious stories about having the “sex talk” with her parents when she was a kid. I realized that I really need people like her in my life, even if it’s just for 6 hours on a bus, it felt like my life was richer for having someone like her tell me their story.

Sometimes I don’t think about people’s stories when I first see them. I see them as “teenager” or “old person” or “guy on a bike”, and it’s hard to get past those impressions. Probably the biggest step toward friendship is seeing past these presumptions and asking questions. I find that no matter how different someone is, when I tear away those ideas I can get to know someone and listen to them, learn from them, and share some laughs.

I’m also realizing that I don’t really like Starbucks Coffee. It tastes so bad. I think I might be becoming a coffee snob… hmmmm…

Also, a bird pooped on me yesterday in Vancouver.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Conner Wear May 4, 2010 at 2:39 am

The bird pooped because you passed through Van with out stopping by the Wear house! Just kidding, it was pure coincidence!

But really I am very excited for you Mikey and looking forward to hearing updates. Also I whole heartedly agree with you, I can’t imagine my life feeling fulfilled knowing only other 23 year olds, because well 23 years olds don’t really know anything about anything, and I should know! I am so thankful to know you Mikey, so go kick some butt! (in any way you see fit:).

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