Archive for June, 2010

How I Feel About You, Ladies

This one’s just for the ladies (No Boys Allowed [NBA]):

Hey ladies, remember that thing you wanted me to do? I did it. Isn’t it what you wanted? Don’t you feel good? You should. You got what you wanted. And, hey, I don’t mean that in a bitter way. No way. Because I got what I wanted too. What did I want? What you want. I want what you want. So want what you want, and I’ll follow up and want it too. You’ve got enough wanting for both of us, ladies.

You ladies. You’re lovely. You’re lovely in exactly the way you want to be, ladies. You’ve got all the great curves in all the great places, and all the great straights just exactly where we all hope you’ll go straight again. I was just noticing how scorching hot sexy you ladies all are, while still retaining a cute innocence any time you want. What a perfect marriage of Woman/Girl-Madonna/Whore archetypes you’ve got.

Not that it’s about the sex for me, ladies. No. I’m attracted to your minds. And I respect you for your bodies. I have big plans to be very respectful of your bodies, and treat them the way they deserve to be treated — or not at all, it’s up to you; ladies’ choice. But those minds…let’s get in there. Let’s get all the way in to those minds, ladies. I feel like I could learn a thing or two from you. The things you want to teach me, because you deserve to have your secrets. You ladies are so special because you’re an enigma, and the perfect open book. You ladies always keep me guessing in a way that tells me all I want to know, so you’re the perfect un-complicated ladies. No drama from these ladies.

Oh. This? It’s nothing, ladies. It’s just the mixed-tape/framed diary I’ve been keeping of our time together/tickets to that band you love but have never seen/only remaining bottle of your dead father’s after-shave so you can always remember the way he smelled/or whatever that I bought you for a Just Because Occasion (JBA). I just left it lying around with “Ladies” written on it, because I remembered how much you like romantic gestures, but don’t want to be fussed over.

I think the two things I always want to ask you ladies is, “Where do you find the time?” and, “How do you do it?” I mean…wow. I’ve never met anyone anyone who makes me feel the way you do, ladies. You’re special. Unique. I’d say I love you ladies, but it’s not special enough. The way I feel about you, it’s a new way. Because you’re new ladies. No one has ever felt about ladies the way I feel about you, ladies. I’m making up a new word to describe it. A word that isn’t spoken, just communicated with a longing gaze that brings with it the smell of fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies.

I don’t mean to rush, ladies, but I’ll be late for my Velvet Yoga class. I’m training my mind-body link so I can make any part of my body as soft as an eider-down pillow for any time you ladies want to lean your head against it. Even it it’s a normally boney part.

Don’t change, ladies. Don’t change.

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Riding the El

I like riding on the train. The El is one of the nicest things about the city of Chicago. It may not always run as often or as smoothly as we’d all like, but it usually gets you where you want to go. When I as looking for an apartment a few years ago, I was shown one that abutted the Brown Line tracks. You could actually reach out from the back porch and touch the wooden beams that support the track. The whole house shook a bit when the train came rumbling past. The woman showing the apartment was very apologetic about that as the worst feature of an otherwise okay apartment. I loved it. To me, it was the best feature.

The best thing about the El is the aspect which many people would probably say is the worst: being forced to spend time with your fellow man. Now, I like neither small spaces nor crowds. I don’t like being hot, and I don’t like touching other people. But I love that riding the train forces me to come in contact with a pure cross section of society; a people united only by their need to get from place to place. Their are feelings and instincts in life that I believe we must resist because they make us poorer people. You may come home feeling annoyed with the lady eating the whole Jewel brand roasted chicken, and dropping the bones on the floor of the train while she wipes her grease-plastered fingers across the front of her sweatshirt. There is nothing wrong about this emotion. But know that you are probably a better person for the experience; breadth of experience breeds a liberality of the imagination.

Sometimes, though…it’s too much.

A month or more ago I was riding the train home from work. I’m not usually at my best after work. My job is not the hardest — and sometimes is pretty lazy-easy — but it can be hot and stressful. Minding your own business is an important part of public transportation, and I like to accomplish this by sticking my nose in a copy of The New Yorker. So there I am, sitting in the pair of seats that face the sides of the train next to the plexi-glass divider, reading the latest Malcolm Gladwell essay on the lastest surprisingly counter-intuitive discovery of statistics or psychology or economics, when I hear a sound. It sounded like someone was pouring water. Pouring water? That’s not right. Who would be pouring water?

The sound stops and I don’t really think about it. A moment later, a woman crosses my field of vision, or, rather, her legs do (imagine me looking downward at a pithy New Yorker cartoon featuring someone stranded on a desert island or what-have-you in the foreground, and in the background the floor of the El train). This woman is walking from behind the small divided section at the back of the train car; the area usually reserved for the homeless, where the CTA removes the cloth seat covers permanently so they can just power wash the whole area. She brings with her two things of note: wet footsteps and a strong smell of piss. I understood immediately. She had just pissed on the El train. She had just fucking pissed on the El train.

I know what you’re thinking. Crazy vagrant? Schizophrenic with no cogent appreciation of the world outside her own warped mind? I thought that too! But, when I looked up, the Macy’s bag, and bluetooth headset and well-dressed sister (or friend) she was talking to made a farce of that notion. No, dear reader, this was a “normal” person. This was someone with enough grasp on reality to have relationships with other humans, and to enjoy the great deals at a national chain of department stores, and to make hands-free calls. Oh…and she liked pissing on the El.

So, then the Bro-Dude sitting next to me turns to his Dude-Bro friend and says, “No. She didn’t.” And Dude Bro says to Bro-Dude, “There’s no way, dude.” They continue the conversation with variations on that theme, and I  feel like I’m sitting in at the Algonquin Round Table compared to the sub-human horror that just happened there. Unlike Mr. Woollcott and Mr. Benchley sitting next to me, I knew it had happened; and my certainty was fixed when we pulled out of the next station and inertia cause a cascade of urine to wash through the train car. It also, apparently, washed up whatever feelings of shame that Jenny Piss-Pants (as I’ll call her) could summon from the clearly vestigial part of her brain the we all use to make decisions regarding what is appropriate to do in nice society (things like, “Start with the smallest fork on the left and work your way in,” and “Don’t piss on the train.”) I know this because she began loudly protesting to the entire train in defense of her actions. Below is a transcript of her words.

“I had to go! I’m pregnant! Baby had to pee! What m-i s’posed to do? Ain’t gonna pee my pants! Baby had to pee! I’m preeeegnant! Ain’t nothing else I could do. [to sister] You the one told me to do it. Baby had to pee!”

You see: The baby had to pee. It all made sense. I remember every time my own mother was pregnant she would just piss absolutely everywhere. She’d piss on the altar at the local Catholic church, the frozen foods aisle at the super market, a gingko tree. Wherever. Oh, wait, nobody does that! Nobody fucking does that! And then she got off the train two stops after she pissed on it. Now I can only sleep at night because I’ve made up a little narrative in me head where that woman got off the train and immediately got an abortion; and never got pregnant again; and her genetic line died with her in a lonely, urine-soaked bed.

I mean, for fuck’s sake.

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