There’s a little girl. Probably around three. Long blonde hair. Sitting next to her mommy. No, she’s kneeling. On a brown chair. Mom is on a brown chair, too. Wearing a denim jacket.

She’s wearing a pink dress, the three-year-old girl. Or, maybe it’s pajamas. She’s playing with her iPad. Watching a cartoon. Her mom is deep in a conversation. With another lady who is sitting at the other end of the table.

I’ve written about the people I see before.

I wrote about a beautiful woman and religious fanatics HERE.

I wrote about a mom and her ballerina daughter and two firemen HERE.

I wrote about how younger kids don’t let you sleep but older kids don’t let you rest HERE.

I’m listening to the song Highway Patrolman. It’s from Springsteen’s Nebraska album. I heard the album was recorded in his kitchen. Way back in the 80’s I think. Well before Garage Band.

I wonder who the little girl in the pink pajamas will one day become.

***

I just noticed she is wearing slip-on Vans. Leopard skin. I have a pair of Vans but I never wear them.

Growing up, only the cool kids had vans. There were no other surf/skate shoes out there. And there were only three or four colors when I was a kid. Navy blue was the most popular. And there was red. And White. And light blue. That’s it I think.

My mom never bought me Vans. The first pair of non-generic shoes I ever got were Adidas. Stan Smiths. Those have made a comeback. I was around 13 or 14.

There were no slip-on Vans when I was a kid. But when the whole New Wave music thing came out, they came out with the checkerboard pattern. Black and white. They were for punkers.  I think they came out with slip-ons at about the same time.

When the skateboard craze hit, they came out with the one with the squiggly line design.

Vans are still around today. The other day I was at Jack’s Surfboards with Edison. His Converse were getting shabby. I saw the skater vans again. Thought how that line was not as smooth as the Nike swoosh. Just a squiggle.

 

Adidas has three straight stripes.

Asics the four organized lines.

New Balance, the clean N.

And Vans, this line that the three-year-old girl in the pink pajamas could have easily drawn.

***

There’s a lady with an infant. He’s in a stroller. Maybe a week or two old. He’s all tucked in. His blanket is a pattern of balls. Basketballs. Baseballs. Footballs.

He is awake. Big brown eyes. Looks very serious. Infants always look very serious.

His mom is wearing workout clothes. Half the women around this place wear workout clothes.

I’m wearing workout clothes. Casual Friday.

I wonder who the baby with the blanket with balls will become.

The tall man with the Titleist cap.

I wonder who he has become.

Now the song Johnny 99 is playing. Just Bruce and his guitar. The whole album is just Bruce and his guitar.

***

There’s this lady that seems to be staring at me. Or she’s looking at someone outside. But like it has been a full minute. I keep looking up then I look away. I swear she’s starting right at me. She’s overweight and very slovenly dressed. Not that it matters, but that’s what she looks like. And she’s probably around 40 years old.

There’s some business lady. She just walked in. Very sharp. Professional. She’s chewing gum. Not just chewing gum, she’s really chewing it.

I’ve heard that it’s rude to chew gum in public. When I lived in London some of the people would refer to Californians. How casual they are. How they wear shorts and Hawaiian shirts. And how they chew gum in public.

But I lived in a snobby part of London. So maybe it’s just in the snobby parts of London that it’s considered rude to chew gum.

I remember I made five bucks when I was a kid. Probably around 11 or 12. I rode my bike to this liquor store a couple of miles away. I spent all five bucks on gum. It filled my desk drawer to the top. The size of a large Vans shoebox. They had just come out with Bubble Yum. Before that, the only kind of bubble gum you get was Double Bubble. Or those big long bubble gums sticks.

Then they came out with a kind of gum with liquid in it. I don’t remember the name. I think it was always mint flavored. I think the liquid was green. It wasn’t really liquid, though; it was more like thick syrup.

***

Anyway, yesterday Trump bailed out of the Paris Climate Agreement yesterday. Funny, over 61 mayors of large cities are sticking with the regulations. Los Angeles and New York and Pittsburg and Chicago. They are all going to follow what over 190 other nations have agreed to keep our planet clean and safe.

We live in a great country. Great, in many ways at least. These mayors are free to influence their jurisdiction. Trump can’t do anything about these mayors’ decisions. Governor Jerry Brown is on his way to China to find ways to keep California to the same regulations as it was under the Parris Agreement.

For people of faith, it’s said that it was God that created the universe. It’s his. And he told us to take care of it. I’d think one of biggest no-brainers would be to take care of our planet. In every way. Reduce pollution. Recycle. Conserve energy.

In the Bible, God said to.

But many Christians don’t really seem to see this is important. Kind of like racism. It just doesn’t bother them much.

One congressman recently said God will “take care of” climate change.

Yes, he is a Republican and yes he is a Christian.

Those kinds of comments make it really hard for me to remain a Republican.

It makes it hard for me to relate with Republican Christians.

Does this guy not think that diet and exercise and smoking and drugs don’t have any influence on how long we live?

Doesn’t matter what I do to my body? God will “take care of” it?

I wonder who that congressman has become.

I know what he has become.

Ignorant.

___________________________________________

A note on “Freewriting.”

Every Friday, I set my timer on my iPhone for 15 or 20 minutes. Then I start writing. I don’t stop. I write whatever pops into my mind. After 15 minutes, I go back and quickly correct all the blatant typos. Then I publish it on Paulosophia.

I started “freewriting” in the early 1990’s because I had read this short article called “Freewriting.” I was a horrible writer back then, with the most severe writers’ block. The article said you have to write WITHOUT STOPPING. For a fixed period of time. Even if you have to write the same word over and over again. Over time, you get better, and more confident.

Writing becomes as easy as talking.

I can’t count how many freewriting exercises I’ve done over the years. Thousands for sure. I still do them almost daily. My kids know them well. I hope you will, too.