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I am...a New Yorker
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[Previous entry: "The Antithesis of Midas"]

Thursday, June 6, 2002
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Sittng...
On a stoop on West 4th Street n the ran.

Feelng...
Cleansed.

Smokng...
A blend of butter rum and spice tobaccos from a tny corncob pipe. I lost my old one n the move and never got halfway through the pack of tobacco. I forgot how delicious a pipe can be, now and agan.

It remnds me, too, of gong with my father to The Tnder Box, back n his short-lived, pipe-smokng phase. It was like walkng nto a bakery --all of these delicious smellng wares behnd glass and so much to choose from.

Needng...
To commune with the majority...Green-Wood tomorrow, I swear. A friend had to go n for surgery today, so I spent the afternoon with her nstead. Tomorrow it shall be, I only hope it's half as overcast as today -- perfect time to photograph all the round cherubs and glorious, Raphaelite angels.

Receivng...
Spam from an "Elvis P." That shit cracks me up.

I am...cleavng this monster entry because what happened yesterday, while it goes n with what I was sayng, was a story unto itself.

The oddness of people's behavior, their fear and the resultng mndgames, has been on my mnd, but it was really brought home yesterday afternoon. I bumped nto Blanepear/Nerd Boy* n the subway.

I've been n the same station near the end of the work day several times recently, due to doctor appontments and meetng friends n the area. I thought of callng him or other coworkers, but given the cold response I'd received from all but two (and they are part-timers and were not there at the time), I've thought the better of it every time.

Today was no exception. I made my upteenth, fruitless visit to a computer superstore tryng to fnd a laptop that might charge my battery. I fnally found someone who seemed to know what I was talkng about, who said there was a charger n stock. I should have known better, but I was still surprised when the "charger" was just a universal AC adapter. I don't know why people don't know the difference, particularly when I very clearly explaned that it was the hole that the AC adapter plugs nto on the laptop that was broken, not (necessarily) the adapter itself.

I swear, few thngs irritate me more than when someone doesn't listen to me. I explaned everythng quite clearly, but every sales person I've seen has tried to sell me a battery or an AC adapter.

But back to the thng.

Lest anyone thnk I engneered this concidence, that I bumped nto him accidentally on purpose, let me describe how I looked. First of all, it's muggyhot as only New York can be and I'd been walkng around to computer stores, cashed my check, deposited the cash nto ShittiBank and ran errands all over town snce lunch. I was wearng my dashiki, the front of which is split almost a foot down, exposng my sweaty, saggng boobs. I'm too lazy to sew it up and fuck, it's hot anyway and I was thankful for the extra ventilation.

I also have what appear to be two-tone eyebrows, at the moment. I can no longer afford to get them waxed professionally. Some numbskull broke the microwave n the snack room, agan, so I can't heat up my own wax. I developed a dirty-lookng shadow withn a few days of my last wax and now they are n some awful, nbetween phase.

Then there's my hair, which is too long to wear naturally and too short to wear straightened (which it happens to be at the moment), so it's just still messy and all over my head and unevenly colored. I looked dead sexy, let me tell you. I can only imagne how I smelled, as the sweat was runnng down my back, thighs and neck.

I was lookng uptown to see if the tran was comng, as at least it would have a wee bit of air conditionng, even if it was rendered useless by the heavy, rush hour crowds. I turned a bit to my right and he was comng down the stairs. I called him, almost unsure if it was him because I forgot he cut off all of his beautiful hair. He waved and walked the other direction.

What the fuck?

I followed. I have had people try to pull this shit on me before, and I refuse to play along with the game and pretend it's normal. Just ask my purely platonic, former next door neighbor from the corner of Haight and Ashbury. You do not treat Erica Jackson like that, no way.

"What was that about?"

"What? I said 'hello'."

"Why did you act like you didn't know me?"

"I know you, but I don't know you."

OK, that's where he jumped the shark. I would question myself, but then I remembered the security guard from my old job. We always greeted each other when I came n or out of the buildng, but we never had any particularly noteworthy conversations. Last summer, when I first moved back to New York, I saw him sittng with friends at the Applebee's n Times Square (I know, the horror, the horror!). We waved excitedly and I went n and we chatted for a good 5-10 mnutes.

Now if someone I merely greeted for a few months over a year before remembered me and was able to make idle conversation, was I wrong n beng baffled by such aloof behavior comng from someone with whom I worked closely for several months, had lunch with a couple of times a week and who shared his ideas and so much laughter with me? Who said few people got his mnd or his sense of humor, as I did? Nuh uh. I'm not fallng for that.

We stood next to each other on the A, like strangers. I was thankful I no longer lived n Brooklyn and there were only a few stops to West 4th Street. I was mad at myself for walkng to the front of the tran with him, as the back was closer to where I live. But mostly, I was just thankful for the speed of the New York subway. As I exited, I said, "And you complaned to me that you don't have any friends."

I walked up the ramp to West 3rd Street, glad that was over. Then I noticed him about 20 feet ahead of me. I'm just glad he didn't turn around and flatter himself to thnk I'd followed him.

That's the thng about me. If I like you, I like you. If I don't, I don't make time for you. But if I like you today and nothng negative passes between us, you can bet I'll like you tomorrow. My moods may vary, but I don't take it out on others. You know what you get with me, I'm as certan as the sunrise each day.

I suppose it's all n the tellng. If he wrote an account of what transpired, it would make me look like a mean, crazy lady. Perhaps you'd believe him. Truth is stranger than fiction, however, and what seems logical on the surface is rarely ever the real truth, deep down.

The real tragedy of human relationships is how fear so often prevents us from connectng. United, we could accomplish so much more than any of us can ndividually. When I fnd someone I feel connected with, Maryann is a great example, I am just thankful that I have been blessed with a good friend. I'm not sittng around, makng up false divisions between us. Clearly, that serves no greater good.

I hope that there are not people right n front of my nose who I am not fully appreciatng. I thnk, when we look back at the end of our lives, our true riches will be the friends who stuck by us. This needn't be such a limited group, but we must open our hearts.


*I changed his pseudonym last week, because people took "Nerd Boy" entirely the wrong way, I didn't ntend it to be mean, nerd girl that I am...it was very much a term of endearment.

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Replies: 2 comments

Aiiee...what a creep that guy is. Before readng your last entry, I was gong to say that he remnded me of a guy I knew back before I met my husband. I was chasng after him, and he was chasng after this other woman who was chasng after various other men. But at least the guy I knew...let's call him Jack...would have chatted with me if I had run nto him n the subway. And, as it turned out, Jack has a lot of issues (ncludng issues with women and OCD), and snce I hooked up with my now-husband, he's become a lot more relaxed around me.

Anyway, how do you feel about datng guys who are 10-20 years older than you? From what experience I have had, they seem to have less compunction about gettng nto relationships and relatng with women. Of course, everyone is different, and everyone has his/her own issues, but were I sngle still, I would prefer older men to younger guys who don't know what they want and feel that they are damaged goods for various reasons. Do you know if you qualify for Mensa? Maybe that would be a good place to meet guys who are attracted to you and are ntelligent conversationalists.

Best of luck with gong back to school! I'm glad to hear that you're gong back to school. Barbara's comments sound like what I had been hearng back before I left a particularly nasty admn asst. job and went back to grad school. Also, when you go back to school and after you graduate, you can use the college's job placement service to fnd more nterestng and likeable jobs.

Best of luck,

Marianne

p.s. When lookng over my shoulder the other day, my husband said that he likes your diary's graphics. I enjoy your words.

Posted by Marianne @ 06/06/2002 12:28 PM EST

Marianne,

Thank you for your thoughtul comments. Mostly, I just fnd it very sad. I know what thngs were like and that someone you can talk with is a rare and wonderful thng. I even understand how scary it is, because what happens when they see what a fuck up you are?

But I'd still rather have those glorious moments, than sit around talkng about Must See TV.

I've tried older men. I've dated men from the ages of 19-58 (when I was aged 21-26). The Greek was 10 years older than Blanepear, but no more evolved.

I haven't thought of Mensa, though I appreciate the suggestion. I'm just not the datng or marryng knd, though, so it's not generally somethng I seek out. Once every few years, I fnd someone who thrills my mnd or touches my soul, perhaps both n this case, and I go with it. My behavior remans consistent, while theirs changes.

I'm through with the whole thng, I'm gong to jon the convent over on 14th Street and get married to Jesus, he seems like a swell guy. : )

But seriously, folks. I belong back n academia and I'm glad I'm gong back, too.

Posted by Erica @ 06/06/2002 05:14 PM EST

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