Tuesday was so beautiful that there was no way I wasn’t gonna take a walk by the pier. Never mind the fact that I had just come out of morning Bible study and wasn’t wearing the best walking shoes.
But I was close to the bay and I sure didn’t want to drive all the way back home to retrieve my walking shoes. What could a mile-plus-something do to my feet?
I parked, stuffed my ID and credit card in one pocket and my key fob in the other front pocket. Oh, and I slid my iPhone in the same pocket with my two IDs.
Sunlight sparkled on the waters of the bay. Diving birds congregated around the docks, and seagulls quarreled overhead. It seemed as if the entire population of Bellingham had stepped out of the dark into a world of blossoms, blue skies, breezes, and babies in strollers.
I overtook an elderly man going in the same direction. He had on the strangest hat, but I’m a bit nearsighted and couldn’t determine what was on his head. There were small, round, coiled things on his hat. What? Rocks, bird nests, coils of rope? And something perched on the front of the brim.
I couldn’t get close enough to clearly see that hat. Bruce would have admonished me to just leave it alone. But he wasn’t around, and I wanted to satisfy my curiosity.
How to do that without the man thinking I was about to assault him?
I know, I’ll get on ahead of the man, whip out my camera, put it on zoom, and wait. Then, when the old man goes by I can get a close-up photo.
I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket and got ready. Just after he passed, I got the shot.
Turtles. Lots and lots of cute, fake baby turtles glued onto his hat. A couple of barnacles and seashells. And on the front, two fake sea-faring birds. Truly, the man was a walking travel advertisement for ocean-front natural delights.
Even though my feet were getting rubbed raw by my inappropriate footwear, I was still feeling satisfied…and rather clever about my interesting photo. But by the time I reached my favorite coffee spot my feet felt downright unpleasant. An iced coffee and a snack and a comfy seat to watch people would be just the ticket. About to order, I reached into my pocket. My ID! My ID was gone. No! Where did it fall out?
I am so gonna pay for this tonight, I thought as I walked out of the shop and began to re-trace my steps. The pain in my feet sent clear signals to my eyes, which teared up in response. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
A mile back to the spot where my ID must have fallen out: the moment when I whipped out my cell phone for my clever shot of the old man’s hat.
There sat my Driver’s License on the sidewalk. Exactly where my spy activity had transpired.
I stuffed it back inside my pocket, then “ouched” that same mile in reverse, back to my car.
My question: was the photo worth the nickel-sized blisters on the ball of my foot? And an evening of foot-soaking, and three days of bandages and no walking on the pier?
Some would say, “Art is always worth pain.”
Others would say, “You got what you deserved.”
I say, “Curiosity satisfied=90% of life.