This may surprise some people who know me well but I can be incredibly unobtrusive. I can slip into places completely unnoticed, probably because I’m unusually average: average build, average looks, average height. Actually I seem to be slightly below average height because I look up to most people, but maybe that’s why I can sometimes sit in a group and everyone will forget I’m there until I speak up. Or sometimes they won’t even notice when I speak up. Apart from the time I wandered into the Cleveland Botanical Garden and had a really great time looking around even though it was still under construction (I was there in 2000, it didn’t open to the public until 2003) I’ve never really taken advantage of this skill, although it’s a power I’d only want to use for good, never evil. I wouldn’t rob a bank or anything like that, especially since I wouldn’t be able to resist making a joke about how so many financial transactions are virtual now that robbing banks is pointless now.
Police officer: Can you describe him?
Bank teller: Yes, he was average build, average looks, a little less than average height.
Police officer: And what did he do?
Bank teller: Well, he came in and said this was a robbery. He handed me a bag and told me to fill it with Bitcoin then he started laughing and ran out.
I probably shouldn’t be joking about that. Once when I was a kid a friend and I went to the bank with his mother and while we were waiting for her to take care of her finances I joked about writing “THIS IS A ROBBERY” on the back of one of the withdrawal slips and sticking it back in the stack and got a stern lecture from a security guard about how that was not even a little bit funny. I was kind of glad he noticed me, but that’s another story.
Anyway every once in a while I’ve gotten to the far side of the intersection where I catch the bus and seen the bus coming. And I’ve gotten there when it’s still safe to cross but the lights can change in an instance so I run to make sure I get to the stop. This might happen once or twice a month, but the weird thing is it’s always been the same driver. The only times I’ve ever seen her are when I’ve run to catch the bus—until recently.
The other day I made it to the stop early and this particular driver drove up. I got on and was swiping my card—even bus fares are electronic now—and she clapped and said, “Yay! You didn’t have to run!”
We both laughed and then I thought how weird it was that she remembered me. Some bus drivers have driven right by without even realizing I was there.