Saturday, July 28, 2007

Somebody might wave back

Along the route of the Blue Line tracks, between the Compton and Rosa Parks stations, we pass a building with some vans parked out front. It looks a bit like a church, or an old schoolhouse. The tracks are elevated when we pass, so the view from the train is looking down at the building and the small yard in front of it, and the fenced area next to it.

In the mornings I have looked down and seen a group of adults being supervised in light yard work, or being led while holding hands toward one of the vans. I think the facility is for developmentally challenged people; there's a banner hung on it that says "Arc" (which is an organization focusing on that).

On some mornings (most recently yesterday), I see a young man, probably in his 20s, wearing glasses with the big Coke-bottle lenses, standing in the yard. When the train passes, he turns and jumps up and down and waves his arms wildly, in undeniable excitement. He keeps jumping and waving even though the train is 30 feet above his head, speeding by at 50 miles per hour, and no one else appears to notice him. When I'm in a backwards-facing seat on the train, I can see him keep waving until we're out of sight, never losing enthusiasm for his greeting, undaunted by the lack of response.

I can't remember the last time I had that much unbridled excitement over anything. I have a reasonably good life, but I don't think I'm capable of being that enthused no matter how thrilling something might be.

And society calls me "normal" and calls him "developmentally challenged."

One of these mornings I'll wave back.

1 comment:

  1. Doug:

    A well-written post. Short, to the point. Sentiment, not sentimentality (there's a big difference between them).

    Did you ever wave back?



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