Slice of Life

On Mondays during the summer I am a monster.  Literally, I transform into a cranky, tired gremlin whose tolerance for life’s bullshit is non-existent.  Sometimes I find myself driving my teeth so far into my tongue that the rusty taste of blood swirls around as a reminder to refrain from answering everyday trite questions with nasty, cynical replies.  These are the negative effects of working a second job and not getting my proper rest.

It was on such a Monday just after depositing my tip money that I was flagged down by a 5’2 butterball of a woman.

“Excuse me, Excuse me,” she pleaded as I walked towards my office.

Mustering up my last drop of compassion, I turned to her.

“Ma’am, you must help me.  I have four kids and no wallet today, no credit card.  They are very hungry and…”

As she continued with her tale of woe I kept looking at her round carcass, listening more to the extra flaps of skin slab against each other, than to what she was saying.  I started to think- Sister you sure as hell aren’t missing any meals and I work 7 days a week…- until I remembered the words of my writing mentor: nobody is above you and nobody is below you.

I reached into my wallet and watched as her pudgy hands wrapped around my hard earned five dollar bill.  She expressed her gratitude by walking away and tossing a thank you over her shoulder.  I almost drew a loogie and spat it back at her.  Instead, I returned to my cube feeling irate at the whole bloody situation.

 *                 *               *

That night after work I got Thai take out for dinner.  Instead of going home, I dared myself to be social and eat outside in Rittenhouse.  It was a dare because I was wearing a dress and didn’t have a blanket, which meant I would have to eat on a park bench.  I don’t particularly like busy parks where the benches are staggered across from each other because I always feel like I’m being watched.

For this reason, I strategically picked out the last bench in the row in a section that had five other available benches.  As I unpacked my food I heard the unabashed laughter of two little kids playing hide-and-go-seek; the type of laughter that escalates onto itself so that when one child stops to catch their breath, the other one begins giggling again.  I picked at my food feeding off the children’s joy, realizing they were the reason I came.

And just then a man decided to sit on the bench directly in front of me.  I kept my eyes on my food, the birds and the children as I noticed him in my peripheral reaching for a cigarette.  Jesus H. Christ, I thought to myself, WHY must you pick that bench to sit on? And must you pollute my airl!!  I munched away at my food reminding myself that asking ‘why’ of others is often a fruitless task.  When I reached my chopsticks back into the bowl I felt a weird burning sensation like direct sunbeams on me.  I looked at the bench and found the man staring at me with an unapologetic grin. He sat there leaned back with his legs spread open; one hand held a cigarette and the other was making circular movements on his crotch.

The only reaction I had was this thought: Welp, there is your answer.  Man picks bench directly across from you so he can masturbate while you eat your food. Wonderful.

Cold Food,

A Warrior Princess

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8 comments on “Slice of Life

  1. bigbiteblog says:

    Welp…I’m never going to that park again…

  2. allshadesyellow says:

    variety is the spice of life…and you have a hysterical way of telling your stories.

  3. Ringdom says:

    That would never happen in Charleston. Hard to find good Thai food:)

  4. Molly says:

    Finally able to catch up on your blogs. I must say…some of them truly do make my day that much better after a good, hard laugh. Keep being awesome Juls, you’re a warrior.

  5. givemebackmyson says:

    thats a great story. reminds me of the time rob henning went to the bathroom in vietnam and some dude next to him started whacking it right next to him. in a holy temple no less! wish i could be out there to see you guys for your brother’s wedding. youll see me in january tho. miss you all!

  6. Sheila says:

    errrgggg….days like that, Julia, are the ones that make me happy for tomorrow. “C’mon tomorrow! This day sucks!” I scream. But you have a great way of telling your stories, Julia….makes me go right into your head….

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