Saturday, August 02, 2008

Some More Randomness

I went to the local cafe for breakfast this morning. On my way home an older woman with improbably jet-black hair stopped me.

"What beautiful red hair!"

"Thank you."

"I saw another woman with red hair a moment ago, but her skin was too dark, it just didn't look right."


"So who in your family had red hair?"

"Um, my grandmother on my dad's side."

"Yeah, there is it." Then she was on her way.

I neglected to mention that my grandmother, like me, colored her hair.

Sometimes I would joke with Nicky about my reverse midlife crisis. Most people do the family life thing first, then around age 40 they freak out and decide they simply must go be artists and live in a garret in the big city. At leastI was doing one thing right though; I was running off with a hot younger man.

I also explained to him more than once that most people who date older guys usually make a point of seeking out the ones with money.

"I'm getting exactly what I want," he'd usually say.


This incident happened about a year ago.

I'm getting off the subway at my stop and I see him. I recognize him immediately; I remember names and faces well. People comment on it all the time. He clearly doesn't remember me, but he makes a note of me. Whatever profile he uses for his marks, I must fit it perfectly.

He precedes me up the stairs. I follow along behind, watching him. When he turns around to make sure I haven't managed to slip past him, I stop and take a slow drink from my coffee. This happens twice on the short staircase. He doesn't seem to notice anything odd.

At the top of the stairs he stands just a bit too close to the rails. I consider simply asking him to move a bit, but instead, curious to see how this goes, I slide past him. He brushes one hand against my arm; the bag is dropped, the (already broken) glass makes a tinkly sound. Once he used a pair of reading glasses, but usually, like today, it's the mystery beverage in a paper bag.

"Damn, N****!"

He's a big guy. He's glaring at me. He's scary.

"I'm not falling for that, Man," I say quite calmly. He laughs. "Do you know how many times you've tried to pull this on me? I think this is the seventh, maybe eighth time. Hell, you were barely even trying this time. I've seen you do better."

The man keeps laughing, no hard feelings. Presumably he'll manage to fool someone else into 'reimbursing' him for the drink they just knocked out of his hand, but it won't be me. I wonder how many times he pulls it off, what kind of haul he gets on a good day.

I tell you what, I may look like I just fell off the turnip truck, but nobody cons me, man.


Curtis said...

You have a friend here, Patrick, if you need one. It's been a rough couple of weeks.

Greg said...

They just can't resist talking to you on the street, these people, can they?

Great encounter with the bottle dropper!

Paul said...

It just proves that some of the best red hair comes in a box.

Homer said...

Old ladies used to say I had "what beautiful red hair." Theirs was usually orange - I felt like they wanted to take me to the drugstore with them to use as a paint chip to match against the boxes.
Love your dialog - it takes me right into the moments.

Unknown said...

Hi Sweetness...I love the three sections of this supposedly random thought entry. Each section seems connected to time, wisdom and truth. The black haired grandmother coveting you, the poignancy of Nicky getting exactly what he wants..... (I'm still angry for you) and finally the brilliance of dealing with a con artist with calm and poise.
You rock the house Patrick.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

I never heard of that trick, another one to watch out for. There is a guy who stands out on my street during every snow storm with a dog, he asks for money for a tow truck because he says his car broke down and the city bus won't let him on with a dog.

If you want to be like a true red head, you need to have a little bit of a temper, come on let it out a little. Stop being so angelic, just a little "Grrrr", you can do it, maybe you want to deep down inside, just a little one "grrr" you can do it, we will all still respect you! ;)

Birdie said...

Appearances can be deceiving. In all three cases.

Java said...

Your ability to laugh at yourself is one of the things I find most endearing about you. One of.

Anonymous said...

Hi again. I love the red head story. There is so much we don't say, so much that doesn't need to be said. I'm just learning that.

Doug said...

Oh dear, does that mean I have to chuck everything away and become an artist now? Sigh. I think I am happy as I am!

tornwordo said...

That was not random. I love the no hard feelings laugh between you and the scam artist.

Butch said...

I think Birdie said it perfectly. The moral of the story(ies):
"Appearances can be deceiving."

dpaste said...

I was almost taken in by a bottle dropper once. Luckily I was dead-broke and didn't have a dime on me.