Friday, June 23, 2006

let’s go to the videotape

Last night a friend and I were at a sidewalk cafe. The tables were small and round and the chairs were of the woven French Brasserie style. We were having a lively conversation and I was attempting to drink a martini. (But it was just too strong and harsh so I couldnt, and the olives were small and anemic)

My friend got up to go to the bathroom and an old man sitting alone two tables down started to talk to me. At first I mistakenly identified his tone as friendly and experienced a quick snapshot of a romantic notion about New York in the summertime and how we really are all part of a community, and people really ARE friendly-but then once I realized what he was saying, I had to reach the uncomfortable conclusion that he was being totally rude. Like stopping to smell the flowers and then realizing that they are crawling with bugs.

He said "I wish you two could have a videotape of your conversation". Then I responded with, "I am sure if you had a videotape of a lot of things that you did in life, you would look at it and have a good laugh". Then he repeated his first statement staring blankly at me, not soaking up my response, and I realized that he had small teeth that were spaced in a sinister way and slightly brown.

My friend returned and then he began complaining about the volume of our conversation and our choice of words. How dare he, we thought! This was now getting weird. My friend graciously apologized and we tried to continue on, even though he had now grown into an acing sore in my peripheral vision and even if I tried to look away, his presence was radiating evil.

He didnt accept her apology and continued croaking about why she used the words she did. We had to end it and my friend whipped back at him, at an appropriate point, "well, you are in NO company" highlighting the fact that he was alone.

He deserved worse really.

Why do people act the way that they do?

The image of his teeth are haunting me today and I keep replaying the exchange in my head like its a videotape.


  1. iqYour phrasology is so on pt Luria.
    That man was a Sidewalk Sore. I really do enjoy reading your accounts.

  2. Oh geez! That would only happen to you! What a weirdo, and you are right he deserved much worse...