Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sometimes, the Freak Leaks Out

Sometimes, I get vibes from people.

Let's be clear. I'm no Johnny Smith from The Dead Zone, reading minds of people I touch. I just get a hunch sometimes. Probably a product of my active imagination. But I get a sense of emotion. A scenario might pop into my head. It doesn't happen often. And I never know when it will or won't.

Thursday, for example. I had picked up The Pony from his last day of summer school PE. We turned onto our gravel road. There had been a truck in front of us that also turned in. The truck pulled off the side of the road by the creek. I looked in the window as we drove by. You can't be too careful. When folks who don't live out here park on our road, it's sometimes good to get a look at them. Just in case. You never know when another portable meth lab might be dumped. Or a load of kittens. Or a refrigerator.

The old man inside the truck glared at me. An evil glare. Like he had nothing left to lose. He had gray, longish hair. And a pointy gray beard. The feeling I got was that he'd served time, he wasn't going back, and heaven help anybody who got in his way. It was creepy. A chill went down my spine. Of course I kept driving.

He could have been a loving grandpa, a foster father of fifty kids, a seasoned veteran who raised money for amputees. But that's not the vibe I got from him. I wasn't going just by looks. There was a time I backed into a dude with a crazy meth beard at the bank drive-thru, but I didn't get that sense of evil from him. Not even with his big dog on a chain, and him yelling, "Stay in the car!" Which I later gathered he was saying to his woman in the passenger seat. Nope. So it wasn't just looks.

Conversely, yesterday I pulled into the Save-A-Lot mini-mall as an old van was pulling out. A large, dark-haired woman was in the driver's seat. And the vibe I got from her was elation. She was over-the-moon happy about something. I didn't get a sense of what. But she was ecstatic. She was alone in the van. It's not like she was laughing and talking with someone. But she had that joyful look about her. And it was not the jolly fat woman stereotype I was picking up. She was definitely anticipating something pleasant.

Yeah. I'm sure it's just my overactive imagination. But why does it come and go? Why don't I make these snap judgments all the time? I am one odd duck. But not a Johnny Smith.


Sioux's Page said...

I never saw/read The Dead Zone, so the Johnny Smith reference is lost on me.

But as a teacher, I think we're trained to be overly sensitive when it comes to vibes.

Is the kid about to hurl? Quick! Put a trashcan right next to them.

Is the school secretary preoccupied with something else, and isn't paying attention to the vault, full of valuables--like Sharpies and dry erase markers and jumbo paper clips? Quick! Slip in there, and stuff a couple of Sharpies into your pocket and leave the vault with a single red pen in your hand.

You sense the principal is out of the building and there's only two more weeks of school? Hurry! Head out to the playground for a "math" activity--it's room 9 vs. room 11 in a kickball tournament--and later we will "graph" the score of each inning and interpret the tally chart.

Oh yes...teachers and their ability to read vibes...

Stephen Hayes said...

It pays to be cautious, but I've noticed over the years that my initial response to people is often wrong.

Linda O'Connell said...

Listen to your gut, unless you've got gas.

Tammy said...

Stephen King says in On Writing that all writers are psychic to some degree. And he would know.

Val said...

Sometimes, I wish I couldn't read kids' vibes. Too sad. Nothing I can do to help.

Other times, it's great. You can head them off at the pass before their excuses get all long-winded and steal valuable instruction minutes.

I am always cautious. Not a risk-taker here. My initial responses have saved me several times.

The problem is in listening to other people's guts when they have gas.

I need to read that book again. It's on my end table, under the lamp that used to need pliers to turn it on and off.