obama’s neighbour (i am).

Last Sunday, on the Bank of America Marathon Day, I went to the Maxwell Street Market. When I was waiting for my first bus just across the street from my street, I realised how much public transport schedules were disrupted because of the marathon. I ended up waiting for a bit too long.

So I decided to just walk the 13 blocks to the 47th St Red Line. After all, it was just a straight line along the Hyde Park Blvd, 51st St. I could, I thought, just catch the bus on the way – rather than just standing at one point waiting.

Just a couple blocks down, though, the street was jammed with big plastic orange barriers and a lot of police cars. It looked like I wouldn’t have been able to go straight anymore. Quite a few people were waiting – so I approached a woman with a big backpack and a big white scarf crawling on her neck. I asked her whether she was waiting for the marathon people to pass by.

“Oh, no,” she said. “You see that house there? That’s Ob- … President Obama’s house right there.”

She wasn’t even looking at me. She was transfixed. I was mesmerised by her transfixion and it was more fascinating than finding out which house she meant exactly. I just stared at her – she didn’t realise this, thankfully.

“President Obama is about to leave the house for a press conference. So apparently these people are waiting for him to go out, to catch a glimpse of him,” she continued.

That was amazing. Her eyes didn’t even dart at my direction, at all not. She was transfixed. And I was transfixed by the view of her being transfixed.

It did cross my mind that perhaps I should also try to catch a glimpse of President Obama. But priority is priority, and the Maxwell Street Market was about to close. So I just had to go.

“I see,” I said. “I’m actually just wondering where the bus is being rerouted.”

She had no idea, she said, sorry. So I said that’s okay, thanked her, went across, and walked on. A few blocks away, another similar sight. This time I didn’t even bothered asking.

Bye bye Obama. We have almost just met in person.