Stories

Walking in Harvard Square a while back with Mike, there were two women walking behind us. They weren't talking too too loud, and I wasn't paying very much attention to them. Suddenly, one of them pipes up in an English accent, clearly audible from where we were, 10 feet in front of them "Ooo - I like spanking!". Then they immediately entered a restaurant.
Driving home from saying goodbye after my parents visited. Sitting at a red light three blocks from home - Mass. Ave. I was listening to my new PowerPuff girls tribute album/musical episode. Specifically, I was listening to the closing track. For the third time in a row. I was really rockin' out, inasfar as I ever do, headbanging and steering wheel-banging. I like that track a lot. I glance right and see two girls in the car next to me laughing and waving. I'm a bit embarassed. The driver rolls down her window, and motions me to do the same. I think maybe they're mocking me, but what the hell. I roll down my window.

"Do you know how to get to Harvard Square?" Far from mocking me, they think I'm normal enough looking to get directions. As it happens, these are pretty easy directions.

"It's the next left. I mean, the one we're at!"

They ask, and I let them pull in front of me.

"You rock!" They scream as they pull away.

Then they fail to turn on Mass Ave, they keep going and flip on the blinker on Bishop Allen. I'm tempted to stop on their right, and yell that they should just take the next right and that's the right street, but there are cars behind me, so I just pass them and take my turn on Harvard. I assume they found the Square all right, at that point it'd be pretty hard to miss.


I lost my glasses last week, so I need to get new ones. Tonight I walked into an optical place in the Square, looking to drop off my prescription, hoping I could maybe pick them up tomorrow. No Lenscrafters-esque 1 hour thing here, but I decided I wanted to support somebody local.
So I walk in, and the first thing I notice is that all the frames they have are really ugly. Like, 50's housewife-style glasses. Almost nothing I'd be caught dead in. But what the hell, this is the only optical shop I've seen around, I'll look in more detail, maybe I'll find a pair I can deal with. Being without glasses is driving me nuts.
It's 7:35, and the sign in front says they close at 8. So I figure I've got some time to look around, maybe get some helpful advice from the sales lady. But no, the first thing she says to me is something about how she's leaving in 5 minutes, her hinting broadly that I should leave and save her the trouble of helping me. I ask if there's enough time for me to pick out some frames and drop off a prescription. She immediately points out that they don't have an in-house technician, so it'll be at least a week or so before I get glasses. At this point I've now decided to try someplace else, I'll just have to look in the Yellow Pages or something. But she keeps talking, advising me on where else to go, and repeating maybe 8 times that they can't make glasses here, they just sell frames. They have to mail them out to some other place to make the actual glasses. WTF? So I agree that a week is too long for me to wait, and hasten to make my exit from this unpleasant woman. On the way out, she again apologizes to me, they don't have the facilities to make glasses.
"Not your fault", I say, and open the door. It's a standard thing for me to say, I've said it dozens of times before. It's not really a joke, and it's certainly not very funny, but I always feel like I should say SOMETHING when people apologize to me for no reason, and I can never think of anything else. But she thinks this is the funniest thing since Jerry Lee Lewis. She just starts belting out the laughs, like the thought that maybe people usually apologize for things that are their fault is somehow hilarious. I can still hear her laughing through the door for a few steps down the street. That's some wack shit right there.
-9-6-00
Yesterday around about 9 pm I realized two things. The first was that I had been out of my apartment for a total of perhaps an hour over the weekend, and that as a result I felt pretty much like mildly-warmed crap. The second was that I was hungry. Further investigation produced the information that I felt enough like crap that cooking was out of the question, and none of the food I had on hand seemed even vaguely appetizing. So I walked to the pretentious grocery store two blocks away, by way of the ATM and the corner store for a bottled Ice Tea, with the vague hope that raising my blood sugar would improve my appetite, and/or my vague feeling of malaise. Worked, too. Unfortunately, I arrived expectantly at the grocery store only to find it just closed. This is how I know now that it was 9 pm. I could go on a long tangent here about the absurdity of a grocery store closing at 9 pm, even on a Sunday, but I will forbear, in the hope of eventually getting to the point of my story. Say "thank you". You're welcome.

Forlorn, I wander the streets, trying to think of what to eat, and where to go to get it. I wander for a goodly period of time, perhaps 45 minutes. At some length, it occurs to me that a bagel would really hit the spot, particularly one with a shallow smear of cream cheese on the top. Accordingly, I head to the 1369 Coffeeshop in Central Square, some two blocks from El Apartmente. This is a bit of a walk by this time, given the distance I've somewhat dizzily wandered. Eventually I arrive, and enter said fine establishment for the procurement of a tasty bagel. There are not, you will note, all that many places to find a toasted bagel at 10:30PM. After a brief wait for an attendant, I ask the attractive woman behind the counter for a bagel. She informs me sadly that they are all out. I allow as how this is terrible. I am quite put out. She kindly suggests a scone, which I note is just not the same. I scan the menu, and come to the conclusion that there is nothing else there that I desire. I mention this to the nice lady. She apologizes for the lack of bagels. I still have no clue how to respond to this, so again I use the old standby. "Not your fault," I say, and head for the door.

"Actually," she says, prompting me to turn around, "it is my fault. I ate them all." She is wearing a tremendous grin. I return said expression.

"You.. B-". I say. In the normal course of conversation, I would have followed that "B" with "astard", but it occurs to me a split-second too late that perhaps calling an almost-perfect stranger a bastard would be a bit forward. So I make do with shaking my fist, smilingly. And then I make my actual exit, to wander the streets looking for food briefly, and soon to head for my apartment, to go to bed hungry.

But there, that, is a woman who gets "it"
-10-16-00


Today I was driving home from work - no surprise there, I do it every day of the week. As always, I was cranky and tired of driving by the time I hit my left turn in Inman square. Inman square is wacky to drive through, and it's not really a square in any sense that I would think of it. It's shaped much more like that sign that Prince changed his name to for a while, except with only one crossbar instead of two. Anyway, I get to go from the upper-right bit of the Y onto the left bit of the crosspiece. This is generally easier than it sounds, except for the people that are ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS taking their SWEET TIME walking across the street there. Now, I'm a pretty nice guy, and I like pedestrians, but sometimes these people take what seems like a full minute to walk 20 feet. And I've been driving for 45 minutes, working all day before that, and home is only driving 3 blocks and finding a parking space away. It's frustrating. Today, I got to that street only to find a girl about to cross. Like I said, I try to be a nice guy, so I worked on stopping the car, so that I wouldn't hit her. But she outdid me. She stopped on the sidewalk, made it clear with body language that she wasn't going to cross in front of me. It's not really that big a thing, but it was polite of her. Gave me a bit of a lift.
-10-16-00
It's been a long time since I've written anything for this page. Perhaps because more people I know floated into the area, perhaps just because I got bored of the concept. I kind of think it's the first - it's not like I'm shorter on things to say nowadays, it's more that I just say them in other forums, less public ones. There's kind of the problem of what to say - there are certain requirements to things I can put up here. They have to be interesting to me. They have to be things that I could tell any random stranger. And they can't be things that I think someone I know might object to being published in this sort of a forum. For example, I couldn't write about how my friend Bobby is cheating on his girlfriend, or some such. (For the record, I don't know anyone who goes by Bobby, and as far as I know, all of my friends are faithful. It's just an example.)

My life has settled into a routine, or something that approximates one. I wake up every weekday morning, go into work, work 8 or so hours, come home, eat, and go to bed. Sometimes I watch a movie or read a book. Sometimes I play a video game for a while. I don't really have a lot of extra time to get into trouble, and I don't have trouble to get in to even if I had the time. Some weekends I go away, some weekends I stay here. When I'm here, I'm often pretty bored, but at least that week I have clean clothes.


Up