As I made my way home today–as always, on foot, it’s about a 20-minute walk, a distressing bit of exercise that I neatly negate by smoking a couple of cigarettes–I naturally encountered other good citizens of my fair city. They included:
The Couple Making Out
You know, it’s appalling enough to see people you don’t know mashing away just anywhere, but it’s really also very eerie to see them do it in the Starbucks parking lot. Not even leaned up against a car or anything: they were just going at it in an empty space. Did they imagine they would get towed elsewhere? Actually, there’s an idea–it’s a little tamer than my original fantasy, which involved sauntering over to them and hitting them with a pickaxe–Starbucks should tow them. “Kids makin’ out in the lot again.” A simple phone call, and then a beefy guy in a greasy t-shirt would drive up and swiftly attach a massive towing cable to the startled couple. “Hey, let us out of here! We’ll move!” they’d shriek, their passion taking a decidedly sudden downturn. “Take it up with the city,” the guy would grunt, and then he’d take off with a lurch, and you’d see the unfortunate couple dragging behind the truck, bouncing off the asphalt and howling like Pandemonium’s own PA system.
The Unnerving Not-A-Rapper
As I crested the hill and approached Broadway, my cardiovascular system shuddering and lurching like a poorly coordinated rugby scrum, I spotted a horrifying apparition. It was an unkempt figure, nearly six feet tall, with knotted dirty blonde hair flying this way and that, limbs keeping an uncertain, frenetic tempo modeled, seemingly, on the flight patterns of frightened hummingbirds. It held a soft drink cup to its lips, and screamed terrible rat-a-tat-tat near-rhymes and assorted ravings in rough accompaniment to the tempest ravaging its tortured body, using the cup as a megaphone, which was hardly necessary; the noise had several people in a nearby bus kiosk pinioned to the plexiglass wall, and they writhed helplessly. The figure capered a while longer, and somewhere grandmothers cried piteously, without knowing why; it was because of this awful shambling thing near Broadway. I turned away from the spectacle. I cannot discount the possibility that it was Joni Mitchell.
The Dead-Eyed Bank Shufflers
I had to use an ATM, and of course as I approached the bank, there were lines of people waiting to use them all. I took my place at the end, and patiently began becoming enraged with all of the other people failing to use the ATMs quickly and efficiently. I pride myself on this skill; being able to execute a rapid succession of neatly timed keypad punches at an ATM is, to my mind, one of society’s most underappreciated abilities. But apparently it’s only me, because, yes, this person was staring at the screen, definitely not punching any buttons, apparently befuddled by the dozens and dozens–no, strike that, six options available to him. You want a withdrawal, you wretched troublefuck! That’s all anybody ever wants! Press “withdrawal!” More monklike studiousness. Then the scales fell from my eyes, and I saw that the ATM inside the bank had nobody in line for it. What cruel trick was this? Nobody else seemed to notice or care; they were all boring holes into each other’s backs. So I skipped inside, got my money, and He Who Notices Things was on his way. Nobody else had moved.
The Cold Girl
I don’t want to dwell on this, because I don’t want to sound creepy or sexist or anything, but. As I left the bank, I approached a girl in a tiny little tank top, and it was cold out, so of course her nipples were plainly visible through the microgram of fabric she was wearing. And I saw them, and because I’m me, I was instantly consumed with a burning shame, and I flushed violently, and cursed myself for being a man who noticed a woman’s nipples, and snapped my head downward to stare at my shoes, and almost certainly became the perfect representation of the creepy guy who wanders around the streets in the daytime with nothing better to do than leer at womens’ tits all the time, and who should be killed. I kind of wanted her to punch me as she passed by, but she didn’t. So to the cold girl: I’m sorry I noticed your nipples. If it makes any difference, it made me feel just awful.
There’s not much to say here except to note its bewildering improbability: a pretty girl smiled at me. Fresh from the psychosexual horsewhipping I had just experienced, I was reeling uncertainly down the street, and paused at a stoplight, which is always a good idea when you don’t feel like getting hit by many fast cars. So I was standing there spacing off, and I noticed a pretty girl looking at me from across the street, smiling. I performed my usual maneuver and immediately looked away, because, you know, girls are scary. I sneaked a look back. She was still smiling at me! Some poorly-trained lonely genetic algorithm clumsily managed to execute itself and cough out some Pig Latin instructions to my brainstem, and I feebly grinned back, a sad rictus. Her smile broadened. Then the light changed, and we passed each other, and the crazed ordeal was over.
I have, of course, a beautiful, wonderful fiancee, so I don’t want to make too much of this, because it’s really silly, but there you have it: it’s nice to be smiled at by a pretty girl. I dashed home to see if someone had tattooed a humorous joke on my forehead, or perhaps I’d grown a tiny, adorable new head that I couldn’t see, but it was just me.
USA! USA! USA!
That felt good. And with that, I’d like to publicly just remind my fiancee that I love her. If she wants, I’ll go make out with her in public.