Monday, January 29, 2007
It’s finally cold. Cold makes me think of Chicago, of course. Freezing, waiting for the train. What kind of crazy city planner puts exterior trains in a city as cold as Chicago?
I was sort of stalked once. I was on a train in Chicago, a redline train which, for those of you who have never lived there, is the train where they keep all the crazy people. The train stopped, I remember—I mean, it halted between stops. We were all just sitting there, helplessly waiting in that inter-stop netherworld. The crazies were getting restless. A man with a bucket kept singing “I have no shoes, I’ve got the blues” in a reggae style. I was reading a book, as is my wont, trying to ignore the tense unrest of my fellow passengers as we sat on a train going nowhere.
Some men consider a woman who is reading or writing to be an open target (For further evidence of this phenomenon, please see my very first blog entry). The freaky-midwest-serial-killer-type who sat down next to me was no exception. “What are you reading?” He kept asking. “Is it good? What other books do you like? Why?” It was as if he had just finished reading an article in FHM magazine entitled Ask her questions about herself and ten other ways to get a stranger into bed. I tried to pretend that I didn’t speak English, but my English book sort of blew that cover. I tried ignoring him, he kept on. I tried excusing myself, politely requesting to be left alone. He was having none of it. And there was nowhere to go, you see, as we were stuck, as I said, on a immobile El train. So I sat for a long time and just endured. I stared blankly at my book and comforted myself with the knowledge that I would never again have to see any of these people—not the crack heads or conspiracy theorists, not the amateur rappers or the shoeless reggae singer, and definitely not the serial killer who droned on incessantly for the duration of the train’s respite from its south-bound, late night journey. I would never have to see him again.
Three days later he showed up at my office.
I was working as a Field Manager for an environmental organization. He showed up to canvas for clean air. Somewhere the Fates, those wretched bitches, were cracking up.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
“Who am I?” I wonder, gazing at the piles of magazines lining aisle after aisle of the Barnes and Noble down the street from my house. Am I the literary section? The art section? Entertainment? I spot the wedding section from the corner of my eye and keep walking. I’ve had the kind of day that finds me leafing through the latest issue of Long Island Bride. Today is not that day.
There are three different surfing magazines. In Brooklyn. New York. What kind of demand can there be for this glut of choice. “Hey, um, I was wondering if you had Surfer magazine? No, I already have Surf and Surfing…”
Hang ten on the Gowanus Canal, bro. Steer clear of dead bodies and you’re good ‘till spring.
The Men’s Interest section is called, “Sports”. The Women’s Interest section is called, “Women’s Interest”. It sounds like a euphemism for menstruation. “Leslie can’t go swimming this week. She has a case of ‘women’s interest’”.
On Monday I was rejected by a job that doesn’t pay any money. I feel like a woman who’s been dumped by a married man. I wonder if there’s a magazine section for that. “Other Woman’s Interest”. It would have magazines like Stalking and Deceit. “Top 10 ways to threaten to call his wife”. “Camilla Parker Bowles, adulteress of the century!”
I pick up a glossy English mag with Courtney Love on the cover. It weighs 85 pounds. Who writes this shit? Are they hiring? If I work for free will they love me?
An Asian couple huddles around the newest issue of Town and Country. A homeless dude reads Nylon.
Sometimes a person finds it difficult to muster up even the slightest bit of interest in things.
I wish I still smoked. I wish tomorrow wasn’t my birthday.