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Category Archives: anecdotes
So we were visiting the gorillas at the Bronx zoo. It was that amazing-weather-Saturday a few weeks ago that punctured a hole in the earlobe of Spring, which has since closed up, of course. And since the sun was doing its thing on this particular day, lots and lots of people were at the zoo, parents constantly pointing out the animals to their helpless children, you know, as if little Haley or Ashton was blind and dumb, “Is that a zebra? Look sweetie! Does that zebra have stripes?”
We were in the second of the main gorilla viewing rooms, the narrower of the two. It was super-packed. I was reminded of that scene in Jaws 4 when they’re in that shark tunnel and the glass gets punctured, chaos ensues, death, blood, etc. Ricky and I were in the way back, hugging the glass wall, trying to breathe, when a scenario unfolded involving a woman who, for the purposes of this blog and good old-fashioned hyperbole, I’ve dubbed “the angry lady.” She was standing in front of us a ways, when someone pushing a wheelchair went by her, apparently clipping her on the heel. Needless to say, the Angry Lady flipped her muffins!
“My foot! My foot!” She cried. The man pushing the wheelchair stopped, apologized profusely. “Jesus Christ! You could have taken my entire leg off!” She said this right to the person pushing the wheelchair and the woman in the wheelchair herself, who presumably couldn’t walk. They apologized some more then wheeled away. But the Angry Lady had not finished her impressive display. “Why are they bringing that thing in here?” She whined to her husband and son. I looked at Ricky amazed, uncertain whether “that thing” referred to the wheelchair or the less-than-human disabled person in the wheelchair.
And she kept it up for a good 5 minutes or so, extracting every once of pity possible from her family (who I was quietly pitying). “No I’m ok, it just hurt a lot,” she assured them like a trooper. And we, Ricky, myself and the pregnant gorilla behind the glass just shook our heads thinking, “Some people.”
So it was a lovely saturday in Fort Greene – 3 parts sunny, 2 parts nippy, but all parts pleasant – and I decide to take a stroll in the park, stopping briefly for my first iced coffee of the season. And when I enter said coffee shop, one male barista says to the other male barista, “And what about this one?” he looks in my direction. “I’d say a 7,” the taller, blacker one says and the squeakier guy nods. Now this wasn’t whisper-speak, by the way, this was full-fledged, unabashed dialogue for all parties to witness, absorb, whathaveyou. I just half-smile, “Can I have an iced americano? Thanks.” I pay, milk up, then continue with my stroll, trying to put my finger on that sortofoddexchange.
Um. Did I just get rated out 10? Nah, I’m just inventing some soap opera to keep me stroll-company cause Ricky’s away. “Oh, come on, let’s flesh this thing out,” a suave and sophisticated voice inside my head tells me. I like to think we all have a gossip-appreciating, self-centered British fop who happens to look like Robin Leetch living inside our heads, cause I most certainly do. “You’re right, Cedric,” I tell myself. “And I know just the perfect-shady spot for us to dissect this little mystery.” We laugh in unison like little girls. Oooh saturdays can be fun. Darn this coffee is good.
Well I’m 90% sure both baristas were gay. “Oh absolutely,” Cedric agrees. He really has an eye and he’s been around the block like a thousand times, so I trust him. Yeah the obvious cliche is that these boys are rating other boys on the cuteness-scale. “Right, right.” But I actually think they were rating boys on the probability-of-being-gay scale. “I love it! Can I get a sip?” Cedric’s never asked for a taste of iced coffee before. Sure um. He takes a long hard suck in with the straw. “Oh, that’s delightful!” Great, he finished it.
But low and behold, a narrative, however fake, is being woven. One of the baristas, the younger less-experienced one, recently had a bad experience with a straight dude and confides in the older, wiser gay, “I just don’t know anymore whether boys are queer or not,” and the older guy’s like, “Oh I can tell,” so they start this game. POOF. I’m a 7. Yeah that sort of makes sense. “Oh well. My work here is done, watch out for that ball.” Cedric takes a quick-left at my hypothalmus, disappears, just as a soccer ball comes flying from a nearby game, hitting me on the right ear. Some skinny-tall baby-faced sports dude runs after the ball, “Sorry about that.” He scampers off. “Eh, a 4,” I hypothesize.
Gee, Golly. What a week. First locksmith-blackmail now this. Ok. So I’m entering the C-train at Lafayette this morning, sort of in a hurry since it’s around 9:02 AM and the train has been wont to arrive between 9:04 and 9:08 most days (who’s counting?), and there’s this crowd of three boys (probably around 16, but larger than me, big surprise) surrounding the single turnstile headed toward Manhattan. As I scurry closer, it appears, through their gesturing and words I can half make out, that one of the boys mistakenly swiped on the Manhattan side instead of the other side, which goes deeper into Brooklyn. So as I try to swipe myself, which is difficult since they’re blocking the way, one of them asks me, “Hey can you swipe on the other side – we already swiped on this side by mistake.” Sounded like a reasonable thing to ask. But just then I hear the train coming – granted it could be an A, but who’s willing to take that chance? It must be 9:05 by now, dear God! I get flustered.
I reach toward the turnstile to enter, but before I get there: “HEY, that’s our swipe!” the kids yell. “Sorry I sort of want to make this train,” I fumble fogey-like, again reaching for the revolving metal bars. “That’s illegal!” one cries, but when I finally try to move through the turnstile, wouldn’t you know – it doesn’t budge. The kids never swiped at all!
So I get out my Metrocard, hear the train-breaks sqeaking (Shite, it is a C!) while one of the boys screams, “But we already swiped here!” “I JUST TRIED IT AND IT DIDN’T MOVE, MAN!” I yell out of nowhere, swipe my card on the 2nd try (after one flub) as the kids wryly giggle, and I stumble down the stairs just as the train starts leaving. Shite. At least I now have ample time to be pretty-darn embarrassed about yelling at some youths, calling them “man” for some reason (what was that about?), and just plain feeling-all-square and blah and stuff. Fudge, I hate work-clothes.
Yep, it’s tidbit time, you guessed it right, cause how else do we get to know one another (cough) than by sharing little itsies about our lives, painfully, bit by bit, woooo!
So, today’s tidbit: when I was 5, maybe 6 years old, about the age when one starts seeking out nicknames for oneself that one hopes will eventually stick and become increasingly more eclectic as the years pass, I really wanted everyone to start calling me Skippy.
The reason I wanted this nickname: I thought the neighbor-character from the sitcom, Family Ties, pictured here, and also named Skippy, was simply super-cool and hilarious (which he was!). But alas and probably thankfully the name never stuck, and all I ever got was Matt, or Matty briefly in High School (COUGH) – which are both about as eclectic as a wet-paper-bag, but what can you do?
Ahh yes, tidbit time is over, yargh!
So this is pretty hard for me but, here goes nothing. Ok um. I’ve had two “balls dreams” in my life. Firstly, what’s a balls dream? (valid question) Well, a balls dream, as I see it, is when you’re dreaming, and you’re with someone (a female friend, your mom), someone who wouldn’t normally have balls in the real world, and uh, you’re dreaming, you’re talking about Episcopalians, the flat tax, whathaveyou, and then POOF, this person shows you her balls! Just, lays em out, down come the pants (or the skirt), and out come the balls, just completely, you know, nothing sexual, just something that shouldn’t be there, is, for some reason, uh oh, they’re there! Make sense? Um. Balls.
And uh. My first balls dream was way back in elementary school. This girl who I was sort of friendly with, but was also sort of in competition with in terms of who was smartest in the class, this girl, we’ll call her “Megan,” she showed up in my dream one night out of the blue (you can see where this is going). We’re talking about the latest homework assignment or something, I don’t really remember the details, but what I do remember is that big set of balls she sticks out of the front of her shorts. Doesn’t say anything, doesn’t want approval for her balls. Are they too oily? No, none of that. (gross!) She just puts em out there. They look like a second chin only much much lower. And, yeah, since that balls dream, I never could look at Megan the same, cause that’s what balls dreams do! They completely taint perfectly cordial relationships. Because it’s impossible to get that image out of your head. She became Megan-balls for the rest of time I knew her (she’s still Megan-balls somewhere!) and there’s nothing I could do about it. (sigh)
And the reason I’m writing about this is that last week, I had my second balls dream! My boss. My female boss. We’ll call her “Stephie”. We’re discussing “the Internet,” in my dream. I’ve giving her my big shbeel about what I think the web can do. She’s smiling. She’s impressed. But little do I know, perhaps a little too impressed, I look down, whoops, she has some balls. Don’t look. Oh man, I looked. Happy, dangly balls, she has some. They’re just out and about, getting some air. “As you were saying about the magic of the web?” Stephie smiles politely. I’m frozen. “Uh…well the um…” I fumble, I stutter and BOOM, I wake up, sweaty, confused, but with the deep down understanding that (sigh) I now work for Stephie-Balls. There was no way around it. “Did you get the Fed Ex out, Matt?” “Uh, yep,” I chirp. Balls. “Did you think the promo was confusing at all, Matt?” Balls balls. “No I thought it was actually one of the better ones we’ve done.” “Oh really, that’s good to hear.” Ballsyballballsbouncyballyballs. And more balls. (sigh)
Yep. I know. It’s a curse. But what can you do? Two balls dreams in 25 years is not too shabby I guess, right? I’m just nervous a little. Um. I hope that one of you (my ball-less friends reading this) isn’t the next to go the way of the balls. God forbid I have a balls dream about someone I really deeply care about. (sigh) And those are my balls dreams.
Quickly: so yeah everyone knows it’s been raining forever (finally the weather pessimists are patting themselves on the back), and I’ve always been cheap with umbrella-purchases cause I constantly leave them places, whathaveyou, so I’m walking two feet to the subway on Sunday afternoon, holding one of those bodega-umbrellas that are three-dollars and made of tissue-paper, needless to say I had bad moment when a gust of wind came, it got ugly, I was super-embarrassed, of course, some old man shouted, “There she goes!” etc, etc.
And I’m sitting on the subway in wet shoes, fallen soldier in hand, looking from passenger to passenger: not at their faces (no I’m too ashamed), or at their probably-similarly-wet shoes, but at their umbrellas. Gosh, they all look so strong, so impressive, whoa a wooden handle, that can only mean one thing: stability, safety, hope, and at that moment, oh boy, I felt the most potent umbrella-envy I’ve ever experienced, perhaps that I’ll ever experience (nope, I didn’t go out and my a super-industrial-model the next day, but I did take one from my boyfriend, and it has a wooden handle,). Booyah! Goodnight.