Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Playing Cards

When you live in a city, especially one with a high instance of public transportation usage, you rub up against humanity a lot. Like today I was walking behind a young lady with an admittedly fine behind so I had a ringside seat as two express couriers ogled her shamelessly. I didn't quite hear what they yelled at first. Then she responded, gesturing to her Yankees top, and I heard exactly what the retort was, "Red Sox, baby!" Didn't expect those guys to be my kind of people but hey, look, there they were.

Last Tuesday I left work early to go to Michael's memorial service. It involved a simple but many-stepped commute cross town and up a little bit. I gave myself plenty of time but was thwarted when I grabbed a cocoa in tribute to Michael and to replace the lunch I wasn't getting and the barista was not a fan of the linear. It still looked as though things would be fine but the train was late. So, by the time I got to the right stop and had to trek underground for a few blocks I was starting to feel the pressure. Not to mention the fact that it was pushing 100 degrees up on earth and I was in the ball-sweaty nether regions of the subway system.

It was crowded. I concentrated on being respectful. With the end of the crowded transfer tunnel in sight, though, I was losing patience while I worried about who I would see at the service, how I looked and what I would say. So I gauged my timing and wiggled between two slower pedestrians to make the turn into the less crowded walkway uptown. I did well. I didn't bump anyone or cut them off, just kept on my merry way.

Behind me, though, I began to hear that faux cheery voice of that sort of man who likes to tell women how to feel. It had the tones of the un-cola man from the 80s mated with the passive-aggressive guilt vibes you expect from a soon-to-be-ex spouse.

"Careful there," he advised me. "Don't want to spill that coffee."

I don't drink coffee and I hadn't hurt him in any way. He was judging me and I was already feeling anticipatory judgment (which never came) about the memorial and I was mad, which was a sort of nice change from how sad I was feeling, but I didn't have time for it. In the interest of time and respect for the dearly departed, I resolved to grit it out in silence.

"Don't want to have to spend another $4 to get you another one..." and he kept going but I couldn't hear him over the voices in my head.

I didn't spend $4! I spent $3.21 plus tip. And I tipped! Because I know it's a luxury and those cost and not just in sweat like Debbie Allen warns you in the opening credits to Fame. I had a good reason for getting this treat today so don't tell me what I can and cannot do and....I have the death card. And I'm fucking playing it.

I turned slightly to get my voice thrown in the right direction, "You know, I'm on my way to a funeral and I'm a little late so I'm going to do whatever I want." You nosy bastard.

He may have apologized but I wasn't listening.

*Photo of something else I stumbled upon while out and about in our fair heat wave.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:03 PM

    sorry you had the card, and had to play it ... but well played in the circumstances! judging sucks.