Tuesday, January 8, 2002

repeat of st. pete - maggie, rebecca, nader, and i in dc this time

at a little after six, i boarded the metro at huntington, sat down. two families going to the wizards game sat right ahead of me, even though this is the first stop and so the metro is still empty. i could no longer just stare ahead of me - where to place my eyes? - i don't want to look at anything, i just want to sit here and be transported to nader. i look out the window at the already dark alexandria, unable to discern what we were passing over - if it was good witches or bad witches. the little kid ahead of me kept turning around and staring at me. i did not want to make eye contact, interact, or be a social creature at all. i stared out the window, pretending to be unaware that this kid was staring at me. another family in the back of the metro, also going to the wizards game with a litter of screaming children. please shut your kids up. when did i turn into such an old man?

i am all too glad to get off at l'enfant and switch to the red line. as i am waiting for the train to come, i sit on a bench, again wondering where to direct my eyes. where do i normally look when i am waiting somewhere - why is this suddenly such a problem today - i've never had this concern before. i find myself staring ahead only to realize a woman is now there, maybe giving me a look that i am looking at her. look bitch, i am not, i'm fucking gay, please get that ugly sneer off your face, you're not even hot shit. avert my eyes to the right only to find a person there. to the left - but a person is there too. why am i that weird guy at the metro today, that you stand as far away from as possible and try to avoid eye contact with? maybe i should mutter stuff, too.

the train comes, i board and for some reason am still feeling really awkward and having trouble being normal. i get off at metro center at six thirty, thanking god to be away from the metro. olsson's is at the top of the escalator and i see a huge line of people right in the doorway. i stand in the throng of people and hear rebecca call my name. she has a seat on the side, surrounded by eight thousand people. some employee directs us throng of door people to go stand in the back of the store in the cd section. we follow our marching orders and slowly herd to the back of the store. wow, there are a lot more people here than i thought, this is insane, i thought if i got here half an hour early i would be able to get a seat. i am standing elbow to elbow in an aisle of cd's, with blues to my right, and new age and children's music to my left. waiting for nader to arrive, again in a crowded, social situation, i look at all the crappy new age cd's with disdain, occasionally making faces at rebecca who is all the way across the store.

i left about two feet between myself and the person ahead of me because god forbid i did not feel like having my nose on his neck. old lady behind me asks me if i am going to move up. i give her a look of something bordering shock and disgust. giving into the old bag, i move up so that i am now standing on the boy ahead of me's heels. from the back, this boy looks so much like jeff tonn, it is way too close a resemblance.

nader finally came and took the podium. standing probably ten feet behind him, i got a nice good look at his bald spot, and was sort of surprised/impressed by how tall he was. he seemed taller than me.

and then he started to talk. and i forgot that i was getting claustrophobic standing in this throng of people - my nerves were sedated by the energy of his voice and the eloquence of his thoughts. i love ralph, he's such a cute man and so righteous.

he talked about how to produce change in the political system, about the corruption of the current political system, and how it stifles our potential as humans -- about how we need a political system that will allow us to realize the potential of humanity. and by the potential of humanity, he didn't mean lots of industry or some capitalist notion of progress. he meant liberty and justice for all. he's so cool, everything he said was so on the nose, and i just wanted him to be god and fix everything.

i was not the only person who wanted him to serve as god, everyone that asked him a question wanted him for their god - to solve their problem - to tell them how to make things better. he said that for change to happen, people need to be indignant. he said that we are too comfortable to devote energy to affecting changes in our communities. the other thing, that he cited as a reason for the decline of civic action was the erosion of social networks. - that there are a million some progressives out there, but none of them talk to each other. -- but of course, it was far more eloquent from the lips of mister nader.

the talk was real awesome and made me feel bad for being so uninvolved with progressive causes. i love hearing politicians that hold really noble ideas about democracy's potential and can wax lyrically about it. bill bradley, and surprisingly alan keyes are two speakers whose words still resonate in my head a couple years after hearing them talk.

so, the talk ended and i found rebecca and maggie ray by the exit, and i was so excited to see both of them. we hung out in olsson's for a little while catching up on gossip, before being led by our stomachs in search of food. maggie and i were starving. during the talk, i seriously thought i was going to pass out from hunger, all i had eaten all day was a bowl of oatmeal.

so we wander down some street (14th?) downtown in search of food, and of course nothing is open since it is almost nine and downtown thrives only during business hours. even the subway was closed. we were motherfucking hungry, and we were going to keep walking until we found some food.

as we are walking, we pass bum after bum after bum. many of whom ask us for change. i hate having to do that just keep walking thing and ignore them. but, it has become routine to me doing it every time i leave the house. i used to have my catholic sense of charity when i was a kid and would always give homeless people money. but now, i treasure my dollars a lot more. i am agnostic boy who has thrown off the idea of guilt with joy. tossed it in the trash with notions of right and wrong. perhaps that was a mistake - when i had a moral sense of purpose, i think i was a "better" person.

but, now i can lie with ease, smiling, saying sorry, i don't have any money. meanwhile a wallet with cash in my back pocket. but have a good day, sorry. and i keep walking. but today, it wasn't so easy, nader's words were still on my brain, and i realized this is something i should be indignant about - the fact that there are people sleeping outside the metro when it is in the low-30's - teens with wind chill. but, i'm not - i have accepted it as an unalterable aspect of life, rather than demanding and working for change.

anyways, we finally find a restaurant that is open. bangkok one. blue and purple interior with mirrors on one side wall. one other person eating in the restaurant. it felt real weird. we sat in a booth. rebecca and i on one side. maggie on the other. behind maggie's back, the tv was on, showing larry king live and fergie was the guest. throughout dinner, i hardly particpated in the discussion at all. thinking about nader, staring at fergie, and feeling real weird about the swirling colors surrounding me. blue and purple everywhere one looked. the volume wasn't even on on the tv. but i still stared at it, vegging out, looking at fergie.

maggie brought me back to reality by asking me if i had any gossip, she wanted all the new college gossip since she doesn't get any. sadly, i could come up with no gossip, i told her that i'm real boring and don't ever really talk to people on campus and know nothing. i then told her some real boring gossip that everyone knows. i then asked her if she had any gossip, and she started telling us her gossip.

she's telling us about this person, and then about that person, until she tells us about andrew person. andrew has a boyfriend in ny, and he's going to probably live with him this summer.

what is wrong with me today? for some reason, i was so upset by this gossip. i did not want to have to make eye contact with maggie during this. when she said "andrew," my ears perked up and i tried to seem real disinterested. it wasn't working at all, i know i seemed so interested by this gossip, but luckily maggie had her face in her plate and was not looking.

[and i wasn't going to talk about this andrew thing, rather i was just going to e-mail my sadness to bonnie, but then i decided fuck that shit, this is my diary. i need to quit holding back certain things, and be brutally honest, however much of a loser it may make me seem. i have been selective with which of my insecurities i choose to display here, fearing that i may be percieved as a big, petty loser or as some evil person. but i'm going to quit holding back. today's resoultion: i will discuss sexual, bodily, competitive insecurities, etc. sometimes i don't talk about certain people, fearful that they may find out what i said, but fuck that shit, what the hell is the purpose of a diary?]

anyways, so back to andrew. maggie says: andrew has a [i'm still fine and real interested in the story] boyfriend [knife to the heart] that he's going to live with [what?] in ny [huh?] over the summer[dejected and blue like the interior of the restaurant]. and i covered up my feeling with a wow or something trite at the end of her gossip. what the hell, why does this bother me? i hooked up with andrew only a couple of times nearly a year ago. i'm not even going to be at new college next semester. what is wrong with you today, charlie?

i didn't really write too much about my andrew crush in here or talk to many people about it besides bonnie and becky. but, oh boy, he was one of my big time crushes all of last semester. i can scream to everyone about my crush on a straight boy because there's no embarrasment about rejection with that, but telling people about my andrew crush would be admitting to being rejected, which is a lot harder to do. but, all semester, i so wanted to hook up with andrew, and i made this painfully obvious to him just about everytime i talked to him, but he acted aloof. and i was left to go home alone feeling big time sad and rejected.

and i think that my sadness at maggie's gossip was not so much that andrew was taken, but that he had a boy and i did not. slight feelings of inferiority definitly. sad about my own single status. and i really wanted to just cry right then, but i looked at fergie and tried to ignore my sadness. thoughts of fergie. fergie bergie fergie.

we talked more and more, and ate and ate, making ourselves not hungry. paid the bill. maggie went to pee. and then the entrance of more washed up brits from the mid-90's: spice girls' "wannabe" started playing over the stereo system. "i'll tell you what i want what i really really want." but i won't because my name's not mel c, and i don't even fucking know what it is that i do want - what it is that would make me happy.

we rode on the metro home together until roslyn. maggie got off and left to go home. i got off and waited for my transfer. i stood there on the platform thinking i was going to fall - my sense of balance totally off. i seriously had no concept of gravity. the cavernous ceiling seemed walkable, and i thought i was going to fall on the platform - that i was standing sideways, trying to hold my balance, trying not to fall.

No comments:

Post a Comment