Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Familiar territory

You start to recognise specific people when you've lived in a neighbourhood as long as I have (about damn time, too). 

In my case, I notice those who are out exercising. There's Brisk-walk guy, who always walks the same route around the same block and who has probably lost 10 kilos since I first saw him. We've gone from eyeing one another suspiciously to exchanging nods, hellos, and, "How many rounds oredi ah?"

Bald guy puts in regular appearances at the park. He gets the required exercise time practically every day but, for some reason, still has a pot belly.

There are the Dog walkers, who carry out their chore looking blank yet po-faced. Civic conscious exhortations notwithstanding, I have never seen these people with trowels or plastic bags (unlike Terry the muscle-bound neighbour).

The person I like seeing best is the Nutter. I was driving home when I saw him for the first time. Lanky, loose-limbed, and looking decidedly Caucasian, he was bounding up the road like a kid released from school. In the driving rain.

Jeremy Wariner in a pose a la Francois (Image: Exposay)

The Nutter is unlike the yuppie runners in the neighbourhood, who always, always wear the requisit running tights, sweat-wicking tees, compression socks, arm wallets, music player, barefoot shoes, and the Dog walkers' expression of determined po-faced blankness.

Instead, he keeps it simple. Plain white tee, classic retro running shorts, no socks, and what I believe might be Asics trainers. I don't know, he always blows right past everyone.

The Nutter has only 2 speeds: all-out sprint and plodding walk. The former is why everyone notices him as he charges through a junction when the light is red, while I have seen the latter only once. He looked suitably abashed when he realised he'd been caught out.

The Nutter and I have never spoken, but we have exchanged grimaces of commiseration.

To me, the Nutter exemplifies how we should approach life: head on, full throttle, and never mind the weather (unless there's lightning about).

I doubt I'll ever speak to him. I've already named him Francois in my head, but I think "Hi Francois, that was a really fast lap you did there," is probably a really bad way to start a conversation. Also, it would be creepy.


Snuze said...

Creepy neighbourhood stalker, you! At least you do know what the people around you look like. I don't, since I rarely step out of my house.

There were some of my neighbours who actually thought that I was a figment of my family's imagination. They have never seen me, but have at least seen my sister and her gang. So when we finally meet, they went ... "Oho ..."

Angela Gripesalot said...

I imagine my neighbourhood nickname must be "Creepy Staring Girl" D:

Here's an idea: you could creep up and down your garden in the middle of the night and really freak everyone out, hehe.

Snuze said...

Well, in the middle night, I would either be:

a) asleep
b) trawling for pr0n

So the suggestion just ain't gonna happen.

But nice idea. Every so often I ride the bike around the 'hood and raise my hand to people I see and they'd return the wave hesitantly, wondering who that was.