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Bus Story: The Permission to Peek

August 10, 2010

It’s an empty bus tonight for some reason, and the mesmerizing music of Clint Mansell (“Moon” soundtrack) playing in my ears is creating a very minimalistic ride home. Into this landscape comes a young guy, probably in his late twenties. He’s sporting a messenger bag, jeans, dress shirt and very cool soft brown dressy-sneakers. He’s doing a crossword puzzle in a magazine and his face is completely expressionless. He’s working in pen but he looks to the answer page again and again. I haven’t yet seen him fill in anything without first looking at the answer. No frustration appears on his face, no look of confusion or puzzlement as he clearly hits clue after clue without knowing any of the words. At the point he’s at, I would have put the puzzle away by now, clearly not having the Crossword Chops for it, rather that looking up answer after answer. I mean, where’s the challenge in that? And, of course, I start thinking about the permission process on his brain that says, “No worries, dude, look up all the answers, it’s just a crossword” and what else that permissive voice tells him. Certainly, it’s got him trained to keep a blank look on his face. Hopefully he’s a professional poker player and not someone’s accountant.

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From → Bus Stories

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