Post copyright 2012, Dawn Weber. Image made at someecards.com
I don't require much out of life. Most days, I just want to go home and remove my bra.
It's good to have goals.
Understand - I don't want to take it off for any kind of recreational purposes. What do you think this is? 2002? The 80s?
No, simply because - by the end of each day - this-here hooter holster strangles my ribs, squeezes my heart and smashes my sandbags. Flat.
My bra is an asshole. I'm pretty sure it's trying to kill me.
Lots of things these days attempt to kill me, especially in the city, where I work. I could actually write several posts on vehicles ("VW Beetle Catches Fire on I-70 - Burns Short White Woman!") random building parts ("800-lb Balcony Railing Falls From the Tenth Floor - Smashes Short White Woman!") and other urban events that have all taken a good shot at your little Internet friend here.
Lately, it's the drunk crackhead thugs coming after me.
I have got to stop making eye contact with these people. Somehow I don't think they have my best interests at heart.
It's a small-town thing, the eye contact. I am originally from
the cornfields New Springfield, Ohio, population . . . approximately . . . maybe . . . almost . . . 9. I know all nine of these people, their kids, their grandparents, their dogs and probably their dogs' grandparents. There, you greet folks, smile, usually exchange hugs. And it always helps to make eye contact with someone before you affectionately assault them.
Not so the crackheads here in Columbus. Best not to hug them. Best not to even look at them.
I've worked downtown six years now, dutifully mastering my ear buds-in-ears, eyes-on-the-phone technique. Have to. If I don't, they stumble up to me. They ask for money. They ask for food. They ask me out.
I'm not in Springfield anymore. Apparently.
Somehow the crackhead thugs sense the rural in me, the 'nice girl,' and they use that to hit me up for cash and meals and dates. So over the years, I've learned to spot them before they spot me. I especially enjoy watching them from afar as I walk to work in the early morning.
Stumbling to the YMCA after a hard night of partying, they've got their pants on the ground, underwear sagging. They weave down the sidewalk, wave their arms and mutter angrily. To no one.
Sometimes I wonder: Why, drunken crackhead, why so cross?
You're headed for a day of leisure and sleep at the Y. I'm the one who puts on a bra, wears pants, goes to work. I'm the one who should be muttering angrily.
Great. Now I sound like a Republican, don't I? This is what the crackheads do to me.
Last week, tired after a ten-hour workday, I was off my game and not paying attention, standing and waiting for the light to change at the corner of Spring and High. I smelled him before I saw him. A mix of sweat and dirty hair and oozing-from-the-pores, alcoholic stink. Odd for him to be out so early in the evening - the downtown hobos usually sleep it off until nightfall then start all over again. Much like your average college student.
But there he was, right at rush hour, reeling towards the office drones as we waited to hop in our cars . . . go home . . . remove our bras.
I knew the drill. I cast my eyes down, looked at my phone, turned up the music. I had the look. The look that said: "Step off, thug! I know all about your shifty ways!"
He walked right up to me. Of course he did.
I tell you, I am a gott-dang crackhead magnet.
And he got in my personal dance space, inches away, exhaling his flammable stink near my nose. I clutched my purse in the manner of someone carrying credit cards and an iPad. Not that I carry any of those things. . . so don't get any ideas, thugs!
"How you doin'?" he spittled. Headphones and downcast eyes didn't deter him - he leaned right up in my face. "Lemme ask you a favor. Can you give me a dolla?"
"No," I mumbled. He was so close that it was impossible to pretend he wasn't there.
"I write poemsss. You want me to write one for you? Rrright now?" he slurred.
No thanks, Sir Thug. No man has ever written me a poem. I certainly don't want one from a drunken crackhead. And it's just a hunch, but I have a feeling your poem won't be free.
"That's OK," I said, leaning, then stepping a few feet away from him and his fetid breath. Cars flew down High Street. The 'Don't Walk' sign shone red. I was
My efforts to move away angered him, I could tell. Fire flashed in his eyes, and he drew closer, looming over me. He was 6'1". I am 5'2". I clutched my purse - which definitely doesn't contain credit cards and an Ipad - to my body.
He stared at me for a moment, leered me up and down, then made a sweeping gesture toward my admittedly 40-something stomach.
"You . . . you . . . look like . . . you got a bun in the oven. Ya know what I'm ssssayin'. Heh," he said. This was not a question - it was a mean-spirited declaration. Then, he lurched away - pants-on-the-ground, underwear sagging.
And you had a 12-pack in your stomach by 4 p.m. on a Tuesday, you rude piece of filth!
I only returned his insult silently. Though I have secret gangsta skills - and he very much deserved a kick in the nards - I didn't want even my shoes to touch him. I wanted him to get the hell away from me. He oozed bio hazards.
In my mind, I re-capped:
1. Drunk crackhead thug approached me, violating my personal dance space with his putrefying breath and spit.
2. Drunk crackhead thug asked to write me a poem, for which he wanted me to pay.
3. Drunk crackhead thug insulted my muffintop belly, then stumbled away.
The 'Walk' sign turned green. Finally. I walked across High Street toward my car, still examining the phone and slowly shaking my head.
You know, growing up in a rural area, I used to think that working in the city would be incredible. The gott-dang Mary Tyler Moore show! I'd walk in the park, trade jokes with Lou Grant, throw my hat in the air.
It's just like that. Except with drunk crackheads. Insulting drunk crackheads. Also there is no Lou Grant, I don't wear hats and I don't want to walk in the park. All I want is to get home.
And take off my bra.
Thanks to my good friend Pearl at Pearl Why You Little for inspiring me by writing about her crackheads, and for living a mundane, Midwestern, 9-to-5 life like mine. She's taught me that five minutes of even the most ordinary day can yield a post. :)