I appreciate Sacramento, with nearly a two and half million people in the region the city hasn’t lost its small town charm. People still smile here . In ten or twenty years I imaging a different Sacramento. More people competing for space.
Before Sac, I lived in San Francisco and New York, in those cities you can’t trust a random smile on the street. It has a different meaning, a smile can delay you at a bus stop, subway or elevator,could be misread as being vulnerable, a smile with eye contact could lead to a story,or worse, harm you. Once the New Yorker can exhale, then he is capable of smiling.
There is one place in Sacramento where smiles are few and that’s the Gym. Not sure why.
I pray to get myself to the gym everyday, the gift is walking through those class doors. Once inside, I am a happy man. Inside, eye contact is avoided. In the gym, Hi’s and Hello’s are inconvenient. Undaunted, I smile and say hello. Eyes look down, heads turn.
Occasionally, someone returns the smile. Some people return the smile before the sensor can stop them- catching them by surprise. Embarrassed, by their actions a few avoid me ,abrupt turns,(including one hysterical yet unfortunate collision with a display) not sure why, no mindless chatter, no stories of days gone by, just a simple Hi. Others are pleased and seem to look forward to my face. (It’s growing daily)
Sometimes a random smile helps during the struggle and the sweat. There are smiles found at the gym. Perhaps,like me they are grateful to be there. We know who we are. Smiling glowing faces freaking happy to be alive. One woman greets me and the other smiling faces with an energetic “good morning” followed by an high five. One day we may take over, one smile at a time.