The Reality Check Tim nord

As I sit in Starbucks, a character walks in that catches my eye. Well, he catches everyone's eye. Wearing all red and white pinstripe sweat pants and a red and white IU hoodie. Just to "top it off" he has his IU beanie on too. He laughed and jokes with his friends in the physical manner. The pushing and soft punches that guys seem so fond of. I watch him strut through the store. With rather poor posture, if I am honest. Shoulders forward, torso leaned back to balance that weight, and head leaned forward. I automatically thought he was just some meat head who I could never have a meaningful conversation with. Just someone who lives life on the very shallow end. He seems to have as many I.Q. points as he has fingers and toes. Obviously he plans on going or is going to IU, but what is his career choice? Manual labor? Janitor? Who knows, but one thing I'm sure of, he would never make a philosopher. His friends, now there is a story. Half of them walk in wearing the typical khaki/hoodie wombo combo. The rest shuffle in in hoodies and jeans, as quiet as a pack of starved Hyenas who happened across a freshly dead elephant. They sounded along the same lines of the animal as well. Looking back at senior pinstripe, I ask myself a few questions. How many girlfriends does he have a month? Is it a flavor of the week type deal, or more of an elite club? Only those who he deems as the most beautiful get in? I can see Jen-Con (the barista) roll her eyes as she realizes it is her fate to shepherd these ruffians through the menu. Wasting 10 minutes of her life. While being you is of utmost importance, in certain settings it's better to sing to the tune. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Starbucks, do as the coffee shop does. Typically coffee shops are places of focus. Contemplation for you and your work. Not a race track where yelling is the only means of communication.

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Then he orders. Time grinds to a halt as I witness him look up to the menu and see his face morph from that of mindless fun to that to real contemplation. I am not the only one to notice. His friends quickly shut up as they follow his example. Making decisions for themselves. I realize that not only is he a part of those friends, but he leads them. His actions turning to respectable. He removed his hat to speak to Jen. Seconds are still minutes as he turns to Jen-Con and asks her how her day has been, his eyes twinkling with sincerity. Just looking at him now turns my disgust to joy. A change as wild as those old Animorph books. As I witness a small miracle and see Jen herself smile and respond. They make direct eye contact as they have a meaningful exchange. He looks at the menu and asks what her thoughts are on the new Cascara latte. Seemingly content with her answer he proceeds to joke about how unknowledgable he is. Seeing how humble and respectful he is inspired me. I was the prick. All of a sudden the world changed. Our roles had reversed. It is reminiscent of me staring into the abyss and the abyss stared back into me. It was a reality check on my part. I thought myself above him and now I know that he is who I strive to be. Who I failed to be. He made me reflect on my character. It's important for me to be who I want to be and not judge others for not being who I think I am. His character not only changed my perspective on myself, but my perspective on reality. Everyone has struggles. Everyone is different, and how his change happened in a few short seconds, is astonishing. How do I come off to people? Am I welcoming or standoffish? Considering I sit alone in English, my phone doesn't go off, and my days are spent either sleeping or working, I would say that I come off as the latter. There is no day like today to change.

And then I took his picture and he changed to be weird.

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