if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen
This is not my week as far as far as relating with strangers goes. I mean, I thought with my little psychology degree I was going to come down here, move into the Tenderloin, and go all William Vollmann on everybody’s ass. My friends could have cushy PR jobs, and I would take it to the streets, where the life-changing experiences would pile up like, well, like something. But it seems that the streets are bringing it to me, and I am woefully unprepared.
Last night, still recovering from being punched on my lunch break, I was headed to fencing on the 22 bus. I hadn’t even wanted to go, because it involves leaving the bus and walking for 10 minutes down a dark street, lined with warehouses and dead eyed apartment complexes, but of course this is how phobias begin, and I was not about to let one bad experience change the way I thought about the city.
So, I’m on the bus closing in on my stop, just listening to music and trying to psych myself up for the walk, when I notice that the woman across the aisle is staring at me, and appears to be speaking. I turn briefly to her, and realize that she is yelling, at me, and that she is most certainly afflicted with a little bit of the crazy. She proceeds to announce at hight volume that I am a murderer, that I kill babies and enjoy whimsical abortions, that I am a slut who is going to hell. Of course she is not really talking about me, but she is most certainly directing these comments at my person. I turn away as she continues to look at me with fiery eyes and yell about my baby killing ways. The bus driver finally has to stop and tell her to be quiet at which point I throw myself at the opening door, suddenly grateful for the dark empty street. What was I writing yesterday about the ultimate romance of the teeming humanity of city life? I’m over humanity. Give me a tree.
This morning I wake up, and my head is still kind of swollen, and I start to wonder if maybe I should have taken the police officer’s offer to go the hospital, I mean don’t people suffer head injuries, think they’re all fine and then keel over a week later from unchecked bleeding in the brain? So I call my mom, and she’s on her way to work, and I ask her should I be worried about this? And she of course says that it is so beyond likely that it isn’t even worth talking about, and then she asks, “And how many jobs have you applied to this morning?” And I’m like, “Mom, it’s 8 am and I’m calling you because I might have a hemorrhage in my brain, I mean I might not be long of this earth, and you want to know how many jobs I’ve applied to?”
Seriously, this woman has got her priorities confused, and I try to placate her by saying that I applied to seven jobs last week, and I can feel her restraining herself from a lecture, perhaps because she knows this might be the last conversation we ever have. And then she has to go, because she’s at work, and I have to go because I have to look up symptoms of brain hemorrhage online. So, if this is my last entry, I just want to take this opportunity to say-told you so.