Shrek

We were waiting by the stables for a rental horse ride in rural Brazil. When we arrived a competent looking man was leaving, and said our guide was running just a bit late. “Late like ten more minutes or half an hour?” I asked. “Oh, not half an hour. Maybe ten minutes!” I assumed he had a terrible sense of time and was also being optimistic and tripled the estimate.

About 20 minutes later a man stomped through the gate. He was broad-shouldered and neckless. As he climbed the short driveway he swung his clenched arms in the air and gave a couple of howling roars. I assumed he might be a non-verbal disabled man, perhaps a relative of someone who lived nearby. Once he reached us he stammered some not terribly coherent conversation. It took a few minutes to understand that this was our guide. We frowned at each other in great doubt, but sat patiently near the stables while he stomped around swearing (gently) and howling at the horses, who were not interested in being in a hurry.

By day two we had become accustomed to his alternating grunts, howls, roars and conversation. He appeared to be, after all, someone of fairly normal mental function and good intentions, and the odd noises were simply his enthusiastic expressions of frustration when any minor difficulty was met. He was also, perhaps, socially awkward and shy, and so he seemed much more normal by the end of the second day when we drew him out with friendly conversation about horses, the weather, the route, and so on: “What is this plant good for? Does it have fruit?” I asked. “It’s good for giving thorns,” he grumbled.

In any case, we soon decided he reminded us totally of Shrek. And once that image was in our minds we couldn’t shake it, so Shrek he will remain.

Dear friends

Now and then I catch up on Facebook, and a few posts down comes that showcase of People I May Know. I spent a while browsing them tonight, and they are an interesting assortment.

I know her…I think. High school? No. But the name is familiar, even if the face is not.

I know that face. From where? But the name…doesn’t ring a bell.

Oh! There she is! I haven’t seen her in ages. But should I friend her? We were never very close and don’t have much in common.

Um. I knew him, but he seems to have taken a turn for the weird. Not interested in reconnecting.

Oh my! She was one of the kids I made videos for when I had a horse show video business. Now grown up.

Hm. Same last name as my cousin…but I don’t know them. Must be in-laws of cousins?

It’s surprising how many people stick with one focus or job or activity all their lives (still riding horses! still playing with that band! still working in IT!), and how many go from one thing to another. I admire the former a bit, but I’m one of the latter a bit.

Well, I didn’t add more friends. Trying to keep the information stream under control. But it was fun seeing so many people I might know.