|At it again...all for you.|
by Angela K. Durden
The Most Brilliant Woman in the World
Business writer. Songwriter. Protecting creator's copyrights.
For some months I've been meeting a couple of friends once a week at 7:30 AM for a hot cuppa and flour-based edibles at an independent coffee shop about a half mile from where I live. I am now considered one of the regular crowd that shuffles in.
Of course I walk to and from the place come rain, shine, fog, heat, or cold. It's a way to get the blood pumping and the muscles to say Hello, World!
There is a fellow — folks say he is a professor at Emory — that shows up around the time the shop opens and camps out at the exact same spot each day. My friends know him. He smiles at them. They smile back. They chat to him. He chats back. He laughs at what other people say and they wave to him and he waves back. A regularly nice fellow according to all outward indications.
Anyway, my friends introduced me and I said hello. He simply stared, said nothing, looked me up and down like I was not worth his time, then averted his eyes and refused to acknowledge me further. Then he made copious notes on a yellow legal pad.
My friends were dumbfounded. "Huh," they said. "That's odd. Hey, Angela, wonder why he did that? He's always been so friendly."
However, it dawned on me after a few weeks of this that he could have identified me as a subject of an anthropological study of some sort and, as week after week I went about trying varied approaches to get a different response, he was treating me the exact same way — with disdain — and making observational notations of The Most Brilliant Woman In The World.
Yes, ladies and germs (see video below for this phrase used in a historical context by Dewey Cox), it is clear the subject of a long-term study of your Citizen Journalist and The Most Brilliant Woman In The World is being conducted in the wild.
So I decided to make him a subject of my study.
Each week hence I've tried different approaches to the situation to see if he changes toward me. He remains the same to everybody else including my friends — interactive in a friendly fashion. But no matter what I do — smile, frown, speak or not, wave or not, wear clothes or not (just kidding!) — he stares, says nothing, looks at me like I'm trash, averts his eyes, tries to finish his coffee with a shudder while I am in the same room, and takes more notes.
I have not yet reached my conclusions about him and so the study results are not yet ready for publication. You know what? I'm lying. I have totally reached a conclusion about him.
I remind him of his mother and he love/hates her and she's dessicating in a rocking chair in a room on the third floor of his family-owned motel and he's wondering how to get me in the shower so he can use his carefully sharpened knife on me but his frustration grows because he has a suspicion — and a highly accurate one because he isn't stupid — that I'd shoot him before he even got close.
Yes, boys and girls, welcome to my world.