Tuesday, May 30, 2006


This morning on the el there was a kid I have seen many times before on the el. He looks to be between maybe 16 and 19. He is full of affectations. He starts off with a scrawny little 'stache that is now, after maybe a year of seeing him, filling in. Usually I won't make fun of someone for their facial hair, since I could not grow a 'stache to save my life. In a Taliban America, I will be viewed as unpious for my utter lack of beard. On the other hand, I don't try to grow a 'stache.

This kid also must be into some martial art or something, because he likes to sit with his legs crossed in an exaggerated lotus position. He would sit in a seat on the el, then make a big show of grabbing one foot and cramming it into place. He would then breathe deeply. He would then repeat with the other foot. Then he would casually take a book like The Way of Life by Lao Tzu out of his bag. Very deep.

Today he went a whole different direction. We all got on the train. He was directly across from me, with a middle aged Latin lady sitting next to him. He has on headphones, but his legs are not crossed. All of a sudden he winds up like he is about burst forth into song. Thankfully he lip synchs. Then the rips into a vicious air guitar. The lady looks out of the corner of her eye at him, not turning her head an inch. She gets this disgusted look on her face and rolls her eyes. She tries to scoot further into the corner of her seat. Now the kid starts playing drums on his knees, and really getting into lip synching. I mean, he's an American Idol. The lady looks like she wants to get up and punch him.

Then the kid abruptly stops and puts his head between his knees while wrapping his arms around his knees. He is "asleep" on a crowded train, with people's knees inches from his head. It is a great performance and I am almost in tears trying not to laugh out loud.

The kid is still "asleep" when a new batch of people gets on. One of them is a woman about the same age as the kid. She is blond, wearing shorts that are very, very short and about 1/3 of a T shirt. The kid does not see her because he is "asleep." She stands just past him on the el. A few minutes before he is to get off the kid sits up straight, looks around him, sees her, and is suddenly stock still, sitting straight up. No air guitar. No "sleep." His eyes get wide, and he looks her up and down, as straight and normal as I have ever seen him. It doesn't matter. She looks right through him until he gets up to get off. Then she took his seat.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, when it comes to primates, females often have unforeseeable effect on young males. This is what long years of careful, almost scientific, observations have lead me to believe.

1:25 PM  

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