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August 3, 2007

Popularity comes with a price

For the past two months I’ve been bemoaning my lack of companionship since I moved. Since Tuesday, however, it seems my luck has changed. And I don’t know how I feel about it.

It all started when I was in the airport waiting for my flight to take me back to this cursed place. The businessman sitting next to me asked me to watch his luggage whilst he relieved himself (I know, I know… he could have had a bomb in it and then I would have been an accomplice to terrorism), and when he got back he struck up a conversation with me about the media.

Then he segued into a story about how he was flying home to see his father on his deathbed before he “passed on.” And yet, he offered to give me a ride home, 20 or so minutes out of his way. Along with the fact that I would hate to prevent him from catching his father’s life force in a jar, his head smelled funny and he wore socks with sandals so I decided I couldn’t trust him.

I moved on to my next friend, Mark, who was seated next to me in Row 30. Mark is a Jostens sales rep. He got married a year ago and his wife is nine months pregnant with a girl they will name McKenzie Rose. He’s the oldest of seven children and his next-oldest brother is his best friend. He lives in a condo he bought with his uncle. He had to buy an aisle seat because he’s 6’5 and most of his height is in his legs. Want to know how he proposed? Where he went to school? Where he’s been on vacation? His feelings about button-down shirts? I am now a Mark-pert and I can answer anything you’d ever want to know about it.

After the plane landed I bid Mark farewell and scurried out of the terminal as to avoid Monsieur Creepy and hopped into an airport shuttle filled with ladies from all over the country in town for a mothers of twins convention. The woman next to me, a local artist named Therese, was not part of this bunch. She has just been in Oakland to visit some friends. She took pity on my “alone in this godforsaken place” life story and told me she’d take me to some art galleries, slipping me her card before she de-shuttled. She called my office yesterday, telling my coworker she had met me on Cloud 9 (the name of the shuttle service). So this coworker has no choice but to assume I’ve fallen in love with an older lady I just met.

I thought perhaps the plane had created some sort of friend-attracting aura around my being that would wear off once I was no longer officially in transit, but my trolley ride home the next night proved me wrong. Three strapping Italian students sat in the empty seats around me, engaging me in conversation about a trick they were playing on one of their friends. They were switching out a green-colored gum for wasabi they had pilfered from a sushi restaurant. “You can’t eat it,” they said with glee. “It hurt. Much pain.”

When they departed they were replaced by a 60-something-year-old man with a handlebar mustache wearing a USS Nevada cap and holding what looked very much like a gun in orange packaging. He caught me staring at it. “It’s a gun,” he said, patting the plastic packaging. “It’s a small one, but it can do some damage. It’s not cheap.” I avoided eye contact has he stroked the firearm, positioning it so everyone on the train could see his new toy. I fled the train when it reached my stop, only to bump into a 6-foot transvestite, his muscles bulging in his tanktop, his ass hanging out of his skirt and a crappy blonde wig perched atop his head.

Tired of my newfound popularity, I sped home, trying not to look anyone in the eye.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an interesting trip...

    ReplyDelete