Wednesday, March 3, 2010

still life with strangers

I am sitting at a cafe in Burlington, Vermont, picking at a way overpriced salad (someone please remind me why I ordered a salad?) I'm grumbling to myself because a creepy looking man on one of those scooter type things has been parked outside the cafe for 15 minutes messing with Hometeam and blowing cigarette smoke in her little face. She can't defend herself, and she's got a useless mother who is too chicken to go out and save her because I really don't want to deal with that guy. I need to teach her how to brandish mace, or at least how to shout "I NEED AN ADULT! I NEED AN ADULT!"

I'm so distracted by this situation that I haven't written a thing since I've been here. I have my laptop out and I'm blinking alternatively between the screen and the window. Then this younger, sharply dressed character walks in, sits down next to me and says- out of nowhere, we hadn't even made eye contact- "Is that a really big laptop, or are you just happy to see me?"

"Um....it's a really big laptop," I say. I'm thinking, it's not that big. I'm also thinking.....Really??

"Ha Ha!" Says the man, slapping his thigh. "Good answer! Great answer!" He laughs his way to the counter. I stare out the window and continue to watch the man bad-touch my dog. He's been joined now by a lady, a big lady in a big pink sweatshirt that reads- in puff paint- MY GRANDKIDS KILLED SANTA! It is accompanied by an illustration that I cannot make out from here. And honestly, I don't want to.

You just can't make this stuff up.

When the well dressed man sits down with his coffee, he turns to me and as if we'd been previously engaged in a lengthy conversation. "Soooo......" He cranes his neck to get a look at my keyboard. "What have we got here....Dell? Toshiba?"

I've got nothing much to write, but I dip my head anyway and start typing furiously, hoping to give out the "hard working I've got a deadline" vibe. I do not mean to be rude, but I know this type (and by 'this type I do not mean gay....in case for some reason you thought I meant that.) They are perfectly harmless, but once you've returned their attention in any way it can be hard- nay, impossible-to shake them.

So this is what I've written. And actually, these past 20 minutes have been a fairly accurate snapshot of my life right now. And I can't help but find that just a touch discouraging.


5 comments:

Andrew said...

I can't decide if that's the best or worst pickup line of all time.

Adi said...

How do you attract all these weirdos and meanies? Cute photo of lovely young corg.-sans-fluff collar...

Melina said...

Andrew- def not the best. Probably one of the worst.

And Adi- I don't know but you should have seen me and ht in seattle- we were swamped!

Anna said...

That is an old picture of Hometeam! I can tell!

Colleen said...

sounds like a classy day in vt to me!