yeesh. remind me again why i like living in the city?
woke up the other morning to the sounds of crashing and banging on the roof. turns out my landlord is having the house repainted, including repairing the trim, and resurfacing the roof over my bedroom. okay, okay, i'm awake already!
getting down and back from the show at the Pavilion this weekend was also less than entertaining. for starters, i was in uniform on the way over. i hate wearing the monkey suit. hate it. plus, it was hot. but i managed to snag a seat when i got on the train, which was nice, knowing that i'd be on my feet for the next six hours or so.
then a wino gets on at the next stop. he grabs the seat next to me. i'm not crazy about this. i glance him over out of the corner of my eye, and decide that he might be fairly harmless, as he's fairly well dressed. but the several day scrub beard and the distinctive aroma make me wary.
i notice that he has a bag. bad sign. it's a green plastic Body Shop bag. then again, maybe not such a bad sign. maybe he just did a little shopping after an early cocktail hour.
he starts to rustle around in the bag, and pulls out a split bottle of wine. it's a decent bottle of red, and he laughs quietly to himself as he reads the label. potential trouble, but hey, it can't be that bad unless...
he rustles around in the bag and pulls out a corkscrew.
we're all surreptitiously watching him now, as he unfoils the bottle and pops out the cork, then takes a generous swig. oh, lordy... it can only be downhill from here.
by now, several more people have squashed onto the train, and i debate giving my seat to an older woman standing in front of me. i decide against it, as that would mean she would be sitting right next to Wino, a prospect she looks none too thrilled with. Wino is now engaged in an open dialog with anyone who will listen, about how he's friendly and harmless, unlike most winos.
the kids to his left get sucked into discussing politics with him, and he makes some not incoherent points. 'damn Kennedys! they're all frauds. and they're all dead. you know why they're dead? they're all frauds. dead damn frauds!' okay, perhaps not very coherent. i close my eyes, lean back against the window, and try to entertain myself by spinning this little scene out into a story.
somehow, Wino is now talking about ethnic background with the kids, trying to peg where they're from. he gets it all wrong, but is sincerely interested in hearing their stories. Wino also launches into a riff about intelligence and the 60s that lead me to believe he was at MIT then, and didn't exactly survive intact.
i keep my eyes closed, as protection against becoming the next conversational target. instead of me, Wino chooses the woman standing in front of me. he very chivalrously offers her his seat, insisting that she deserves it more than he does. she declines, politely. Wino picks up on her accent, and asks her if she's from Germany. 'no. Argentina.' much to my surprise, Wino starts to chat with her in passably decent Spanish. he quizzes her about how long she's here, is she visiting, what does she think of crazy Americans (interesting choice of interrogation, i think).
we're now at Park Street, and Wino has places to go, people to chat up. he gets off the train, in search of... who knows. the gentleman who had been standing in front of me looks around, and says, 'and on that note, it's time for me to depart as well.'
funny that while i shut down when Wino plonked himself down next to me, he managed to start more friendly, open conversations than i've heard on the T in a long time. perhaps losing some of society's strictures isn't such a bad thing.
the train ride back was worse. the car was nearly empty, with just a handful of other late night owls... and Sneezing Boy. at first, i thought he was asleep, or passed out, curled up in a C as he was. that theory was quickly dispelled. he sneezed, loudly and violently, almost continuously, without so much as picking up his head. the noise rattled around the nearly empty car. i pulled out my notebook and tried to write, blocking him out. but i just couldn't do it. i only had 5 stops to go, and lasted one before i jumped off and switched cars. peeking behind me, i could see i wasn't the only one with that idea. so Sneezing Boy earned a car all to himself.
tired and grossed out by the general effort of being around the city, i stopped at the Gs for a nightcap. and the hilarity continued. my hearing has definitely been affected by working so many shows, which contributed to the fun. i have so many Lewis Black moments these days, because while ambient noise confuses me, random comments make it thru intact. for example, Red Wine Guy, on my left, is trying to explain that light gets trapped in diamonds, and they sparkle when the light escapes. i suspect he was trying to explain refraction in very basic terms. i suspect he's very wrong. light does behave differently given the medium, but it doesn't 'get stuck' (his words). and he may be more technical than i give him credit for, as he goes on to talk about carbon fiber cable. but you'd never know it from the 'if it wasn't for the horse' comment.
in his eagerness to make a point, he whacked over a whole glass of wine, all over me and my notebook. he was very apologetic about the whole thing. i distinctly heard his female companion say 'oh, i can't take you anywhere' in a very resigned tone.
then there was Smoking Man on my right. he turned to me to bum a smoke. his wife? girlfriend? companion says no. she'll go buy a pack. as she trots out, he says sadly to me that he can't bum smokes, but he can't carry a pack either. hrm. whipped, much? i give him a butt, light it for him, and he apologizes for their 'little thing'.
she comes back with a pack, and i return to writing. and then i hear the comment. 'it's not hookers, but...' *blink* huh? i must have misheard this. Ciggie Couple are tiffing about him bumming smokes. she says it's begging. he turns to me for support, and i joke that begging is getting down on your knees and pleading. this helps not at all. i should have stayed right the hell out of it. i try to escape the rest of the conversation by turning back to my notebook. that can't be what she said, right?
and then the tunes stop. there's always some funky music in the background at the Gs. everyone starts giving Marty, the bartender, generous amounts of grief. and the show starts. bill starts singing, making up lyrics to Sinatra songs. everyone is joking around about how reserved he is. and Marty pleads that no one told him about the DJ part of the job, as he gets a new Jill Scott album cranked up. i pay up the tab, and wander out into the night, blues chords echoing in my head.