County Blues 09.17.03
On my way to the OC I was pissed off. Perhaps, if you can imagine such a thing, I was not in the mood for the OC a/k/a televised candy.
This was the afternoon that provided examples of why it is so easy to assume people are a certain way; in this case, selfish, unrealistic, retarded. Featured was the flagrant disrespect of mothers, an uncalled for shove, more of them damned kids speeding by on scooters, and the hood rich cat behind me who talked into the earpiece attachment of his cell phone:
*I was just thinking of you, Tonisha, I was gonna call you. Yeah. Like two days ago.
*I’m writing a song. You want to sing on it? I need you.
All in a deep rich baritone. All very seriously. But not smooth, no, more earnest. As if he was looking for a record deal, along with a taste of Tonisha. Which got me thinking. About people with schemes, in their late 30’s as this man appeared to be. People plotting out their big break when their time is passing. When they need to think about more realistic pursuits.
But, what are we if and when we stop dreaming? When we stop aspiring? And how MTV-cheesy is that statement? But it has validity, weight, relevance. We are only as hopeful as our next goal. Are dreams the province of youth, only?
My internal commentary about this man… he has a right to want to do something. I can’t look down on him because I think he sounds silly. But I also worry: that could be my life. That could be my sibling.
That could be my end. I could be flypaper’d where I stand, talking about oh, oh, I got a plan! Oh, oh, you know what I’m gonna do once I get the money for it? Oh, oh, I got a bad business idea. Oh, oh, I’m gonna do this crazy thing once I get up off of dropping this bomb up in le salle de bains.
This is why it is bad to have too much time to think, kids. On the subway, I was attempting to eat a Subway sandwich. I don’t like to be that person who’s eating on the subway. Sometimes it gets a little messy. Sometimes, there is a smell. It’s not the most considerate thing to do. My sandwich is the slippery slope to fast food, which smells bad enough if you don’t want to be near it. But then that leads to fish. Ox tail. Jerk chicken. You don’t want that up in your train car. Even if you like to eat it… you understand.
I’m settling in, taking a few quick bites with the plastic Subway bag on my lap, waiting for the train to move. I look over at people, both because I like describe people’s facial features (it’s good practice) and I wanted to see if any one was giving me the “you’re eating on the train” screwface.
One small girl of about 4 or 5 was giving me a face. Actually she was chewing. In rhythm with me. I stopped chewing. She stopped chewing. This girl was curled into the grey seat, her toes tapping her mother’s knee, she taking up approximately the space of her mother’s thighs and tummy. Not to say her mother was large, but this girl was so tiny. And bright-eyed, and cornrowed in parallel zigzags. She was kinda dark, and her cornrows were fraying a touch.
But I think she was mocking me. I started chewing again. She did a dead on, up and down, exaggerated chew, ending with her cheeks stuffed, starting with her face long. I stopped for a second hoping she would simply quit, but I know kids. I was like a game now. This time she looked up when I looked back at her, but when I would chew, she’d be right back at it. I’d look at her, she’d look up.
I opened my eyes wide to say “well? Are you done yet?”
Of course she imitated me some more. Opening her eyes wide. Then following as I closed my mouth and squinted to say “yeah, very funny.” The guy next to me busted out laughing, so did I. She had me. I stopped eating.
This girl also was talking to her mother, all smiles. The I believe she wanted something, screwed up her face and in the space of a minutes, generated real-looking tears. Her mother smiled through it and then asked her a question quietly.
“I crying,” the girl said, unable to hold the proud smile. “I crying. Sad.”
She brightened the ride.
The OC night devolved into a rain of bad jokes and voices as Pixel revealed her latest pun. Silver was filth, Stephanie was almost offended and we fear that we’ve scared off Karen.