Bare Bones Biology 359 – Report from the Field

I like learning things. Always have. You learn a lot in a college towns, and there is something charming and uplifting about people of college age – setting up a table with a chalkboard and scientific diagrams that explain all about God. Or supernovas. Or poor people who live somewhere else. Or photographing themselves next to a dog who patiently perks up his tired ears for each picture while he sits in front of a loudspeaker that nearly cracked my hearing aid. While nobody notices the squirrel running to and fro in the background with mouthfuls of leaves for the nest she is building.

 

Across the street is the bookstore, Barnes & Noble. I like to hide in a big puffy armchair in the far back corner and watch the people, where nobody knows I’m there and I could stay all day, nobody would bother me. Or sit at the front with a computer and a cup of coffee, thinking about Book 25, watching the people go by, and occasionally being recognized and squealed at:

 

“L Y N N N N N!”

 

But today I have an appointment with the ophthalmologist, so I gathered up bags and computer and coffee and pushed out the door, to find that someone had parked so close to my pickup, on both sides, that the door would barely open.

 

I placed the cup of coffee on the hood of the pickup – where I could see it, not to forget and splat it on the concrete as I normally do when I put it on the roof — I opened the left side door as far as it would go without scratching the next car, about six inches, maybe six and a half, squeezed all the bags and the computer onto the floor under the dash, put my right foot on the step and grabbed the overhead handle with my right hand so I could SQUEEEEEEZE myself into a six-inch thick flexible flab, squishing backward between the door and the seat. I settled myself in the seat and moved the computer and bags onto the other seat, heaved a big sigh of accomplishment, and looked out the front window at my coffee cup on the hood of the pickup. Way out of reach.

 

Just at that moment, a cute young Aggie (that’s a student of A&M) march-stepped around the corner. Straight-faced, he took in the situation, and without pause he executed the solution, picked up the cup, handed it to me through the open window, said:

“Here you are ma’am,”

and marched on in to the book store.

Life in College Station is more fun.

People do nice things, as though it were perfectly normal.

People smile just because you look at them.

On the way to the ophthalmologist, I stopped at Denny’s, for lunch and to use their wifi, and the waitress asked if I do all my computer work there.

 

No, I said, only the emails. I do everything else at home.

“I’m writing a book.”

 “What’s it about?” And she sat down in the booth opposite me.

So I told her it’s about how systems of Life communicate among themselves. How survival depends on the systems working together, rather than competing against each other, and we have more than three systems to organize: Ourselves, our social relationships, and

“Yes,” she said: “Oops, gotta go.”

Later she came back to tell me she’d been thinking about it, and systems makes very good sense and then she told me all about her own systems. I was glad to hear systems becoming real in her life and put one of her examples in book 25.

The last chore of a busy day was the ophthalmologist. I smiled at a woman who stood at the corner where the historic Planned Parenthood building is now occupied by a “Pro-Life” organization. She wanted to explain Jesus to me, but I said we already have met and walked on past, thinking that squirrel is more likely than Jesus to be top dog at A&M in the end times if the pro-life and the pro-choice can’t figure it out — that they both want the same thing – and it would take only a little study, heads together, to get what they both want. But they are having more fun pretending to care; believing that they care about the people, and what they really care about is the game. Playing the toxic game harder and harder and harder – if we can only try hard enough we will get what we want. Sorry – maybe in the corposystem, but that’s not how Life itself actually works to keep itself going. We don’t need more of that game; what we need is Jesus’s game for real.

And so thinking, I pushed open the door to the ophthalmologist and looked over to the left where the receptionist cheerfully greeted me, and at the same time I felt something soft and squishy moving under my right hand.

 

I leaped away, pulled my hand back, looked the little old lady in the eye and without thinking I said:

“Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you were a chair!”

And went inside to get my eyes examined.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of https://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com, and it’s all true except that I moved some of the locations to slightly different neighborhoods.

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_359_-_Report_from_the_Field.mp3

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