Smelling: peanut butter cookie dough
Feeling: cramps, headache
Hearing: the ultimate langer’s voice cutting through the music on my headphones
Seeing: the very low River Lee
Tasting: a bomb grilled cheese and vegetable soup
Today wasn’t exceptional in its proceedings. I did some drawing, some practicing, some yoga, I FaceTimed with Katie and Skyped with Brian, I watched the penultimate episode of A Series of Unfortunate Events, I went to the co-op to pick up some soup to eat with my grilled cheese. It’s what happened on the way back from the co-op to my apartment that I’m gonna write about here.
This morning I was thinking about how normal life feels for me now. I no longer feel the extreme sense of displacement that stayed with me for a while when I arrived. I feel like a local, you know? Still somewhat of a stranger, still kinda lonely, but it feels like I’ve made a home here.
Anyway, as I was thinking these thoughts, listening to some music while waiting to cross the street, I hear the man crossing towards me say something loudly enough that I can hear it through my headphones. “Obviously a foreigner,” he says. “When there’s no traffic, just cross.” This wasn’t something muttered under his breath or anything. He was making eye contact with me. While I’ll never exclude the possibility of inebriation, he looked pretty stable and was walking his dog. Not even “you just cross,” telling me what one might typically do. He’s telling me to just cross the road. There are so many things wrong with this situation, but I’ll just talk about two of them.
First of all, not like this guy knows it, but I’m from Baltimore. Not like that means anything to him, but in Baltimore we cross the street whenever the hell we like. Being lax about when to cross the street isn’t something exclusive to your town/country, pal. Sometimes, when I do see that the streets are clear and I feel safe, I’ll cross even without the walk signal. Sometimes I feel lazy or not safe, so I’ll wait for the signal. I know this is kinda hard to comprehend for you.
Second, why do you care?
That’s all I got. I’m writing about this not to make a point about anything, except maybe how bitter irony is, but because I got so angry and it’s probably healthier to write about it once instead of tell the story over and over (I’ve already told it twice).