Recently, I began training to become a gibbering idiot. The first step has been smiling at everyone I encounter. To smile continuously and without hope of compensation is a heartbreaking task. The reason for taking on a smile, or at least a gassy sort of smirk, is that humanity has grown sour and dark. Smiling at strangers is my sincere way of saying “May your issues be resolved quickly and your urge to harm me minimal.” The task of taking on a bright and cheerful countenance for friends and strangers alike has been difficult. As my dad once reminded me “Boy, we ain’t very huggy people.” In that regard, we certainly aren’t a smiling bunch. I am choosing to break that mold, as moldy as it is.
People don’t like students of the gibbering idiot way, those knights of an older republic in which calm and serene dignity won battles. Making eye contact with strangers is dangerous in itself, so to smile and allow them to go on their way with respect is tantamount to starting a fight. In other words, smile at strangers because it blows their minds. The secret behind the smile is that light in my eyes. The weird light that does not mark me as an idiot at all, but as someone who is crunching numbers and figuring out how best to make your life better. If that makes me an idiot, good. The idea of equal opportunity grinning isn’t easy to enact. Often when I’m cut off, or crowded by people, the urge is to catch up with them and ask if their life was improved by being a turd on legs. To smile and move on with a kind word is hard to pull off with dignity and aplomb. It probably makes me look like a moron, but I know that If I keep smiling people may examine turdhood as a lifestyle choice and renounce it. Maybe. 🙂