irony and language

May 8, 2009

     Today as I made my usual 3-block jaunt from the L on Broadway up University towards 12th, the cross street of my work, a man in a 90’s-Florida-colored windbreaker stranger-accompanied me. He walked a few paces behind and to the right of me the entire 100 feet. He was a straight-up bum, and one of those vigorously unhappy ramblers. …Loud. I didn’t say a word to him, make eye contact, or even acknowledge him except for the initial notice.
     Thereafter, I categorized him as a nut (was he reciting a poem? of his? a song? someone else’s?) and continued walking, thinking about how shitty late I was and what a nice day it was turning out to be. Aside from his spot in my periphery, he was already forgotten. He did insist on stealing around 2/9 of my audio space. That fraction of my brain could not help but drop in on his rant.

     “Botox is doing some shit for you bitches! And all your tanning. In high school you spread for the whole fuckin’ hockey team. Then you grew up and went to college and got married to some dickhead. Now you get 3 kids you hate. Just breezing through life, how many dicks you went through to get all that shit paid for?”

     As we crossed 12th, he continued chewing and spitting his woes and I committed 3 more 9ths to his spectacle, wondering if he was waiting for a response.The type of stereotype he was referring to is not where I live. Let’s break it down: I am 21 and a little more creased around the mouth (smirk/pout/smoke), but nothing else should imply I am involved in any botox treatments. I don’t give them, I don’t get them. I don’t get them. I am tan because I am hapa, and my skin is always tan. A girl like myself does not go tanning on principle: there’s sun shining when there is, and that’s that. The boys I slept with in high school were not sports-players: they were artsy and/or gay. I was in a serious relationship for most of highschool with a lady. I’m pretty gay! Furthermore, what kind of hom[m]emade slut sleeps with the hockey team?! Am I from Canada? Et cetera, et cetera. I had on sunglasses, a dress, sandals. I was carrying an iced coffee. (It was delicious) My hair looked pretty satisfied with itself. Was it one of those things? Was it an energy? Was it my laptop bag? Was it the simple fact that I’m a woman? Did he force his verbal clawing at any old v-hole walking by?  Still, I was slightly convinced he could not have been extending his railing on my afternoon. Yet, as I entered my building’s doorway, in the building’s reflection it was confirmed that his eyes were on me, though his words were no longer reaching my brain. 
     Upon successful double door entrance, slightly fizzling with curiosity still, I made my way to the elevators. The super looked up from his paper, legs crossed. This man in his monitor-filled nook, whom I’d never spoken with but saw every weekday, suddenly seemed like an old friend. I subdued the impulse to tell him about the windbreaker-styled offender. On the elevator ride up, I halfheartedly conjured up my alternate responses to the nutty sidewalker. “Sir, stop. Let’s talk for a second. Repeat what you just said to me, but slowly. I’d like to hear what it is you’re attempting to communicate. Plus you’ve got it all wrong and I think you might be interested in hearing why.” However, I was very late, and I am interested in evaporating my bad habits.


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