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The Misadventures of an Unromantic Man

13 Jun

June 13, 2017

It was all because of New York City, really.

We’ve got alternate side parking here. That means that once a week you can’t park on one side of the street while nothing happens and they don’t clean the street and on another day you can’t park on the other side of the street while nothing happens and they don’t clean the street. They call these rules “Street Cleaning Regulations” but all they really do is regulate the police to ticket you if you don’t move your car. Then something happens.

Around here, the no-parking regulations are No Parking Thursday from 8:30 to 10:00 and on the other side of the street No Parking Friday from 8:30 to 10:00. Those are AM hours so in order to find a spot to park my car for that hour and a half I need to start looking around 4:15 AM the week before. Hey, this is Brooklyn (“Home of the New Towering Condominium Being Built in Your Neighborhood, All the Time”) so parking is tight. And when I say “tight” I mean “1,478 people fighting for 1 spot” tight. And that’s on light days.

So on this particular Thursday I got up early and, bleary-eyed and foggy of mind, I got into the elevator. I was doing pretty well, considering that I might have had as much as 45 minutes of sleep. Not only did both my sneakers match, and not only were they on my feet, but they were on the correct feet. I haven’t always accomplished that so I was off to a rollicking start. I was looking at my phone, which was off, when I entered the elevator. That was intentional. I was too thick with sleep to manage to turn on my phone but I wanted an excuse to not talk to anyone, or even make eye contact. Hey, I’m a seasoned New Yorker, I know the deal.

On the elevator I go, and yup, there was already someone in there. Did she live in the building? I don’t know. I do not care to know my neighbors. After all, they are, by and large, people. And my motto at times like that (and this) is “People? Who needs them?” Anyway, this woman I was ignoring was about as old as Carol Channing (96 years old as of this writing and, yes, alive) and very honesty looked very much like her.

Kind of like Hans Moleman in drag, no?

I will now recreate the sterling conversation we had.

ME: (nothing at all)
HER: Good morning!!!!!!
ME: (indistinct mumble resembling “grum numble”)
HER: Or maybe it’s “good day.” Do you think this will be a good day?
ME: Wha?

But there was more, too much more. This semi-mummified woman was wearing a spangley black velvet outfit, like if Swarovski designed a gym outfit for people who want to be as far from the gym as possible.  There were little glittery crystals all over it, and in her hair she wore something that I did not get much of a look at because I was still trying to concentrate on my blank cellphone screen.

There I am, trying to ignore the burning question of whether or not it will be a good day when she touched me.

Yeah, I don’t care to be touched. This goes back to an experience I had with an uncle, an old Hercules movie, and basement door that locked from the wrong side. I… I’d rather not talk about it….

Well she touched me lightly on the arm. Stroked me lightly on the arm, actually. Sensually. Flirtatiously. In a way I was stroked on the arm by a construction worker when I was 21. That’s very true, it really happened, and I… I’d rather not talk about it…

To say I was taken aback is to be very literal about it. I reflexively took a step back and thudded into the back wall of the elevator.

HER: Ha ha (stroke stroke on the arm)

Now bear in mind that I got on at the fourth floor and the trip down to the first only takes less than a minute. But it felt a whole lot longer than that.

I can’t exactly call myself a ladies man. I can’t inexactly call myself that either. But this was the second time that week that an, um, odd woman had taken interest in me. Just the other day I was walking Saarah back to her place when we passed a girl in the doorway of the house right next door. I’d seen her around once or twice before. She’s hard to miss. Imagine an elf from The Lord of The Rings. Add random green streaks and highlights to her hair, as if she had seaweed tangled in her unwashed tresses. Now get her hooked on drugs and strung out on crack. Dress her in messy and stained clothes. That’s her.

Would you believe I have a four-year graphic arts degree?

As Saarah and I passed her, she leaned over close and said hello to me. Not to us, just to me. So I said what has become my trademark: indistinct mumble resembling “grum numble”

I… I’d rather not talk about it.

 

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The Burning Question

5 Jun

June 5, 2017

What’s up with ghost clothes? Say your house is haunted by a ghost wearing evening clothes and a top hat, right out of the 1800’s. The ghost, while strolling through your walls, takes off his hat and puts it on your kitchen table. Then he leaves.

What happens to the hat? Does it fade away? Does it stay there? Are you stuck with an intangible, see-through hat in the middle of your table? Do you have to put up with it while you eat breakfast? Is it just going to stay there, being all ghostly and insubstantial, until the ghost comes back to get it? What can you do about the ghost hat?

 

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