Thursday, February 19, 2009


On Wednesday I was at Clark and Lake waiting for the Red Line.

I was in a GREAT mood. I had had a great morning of writing, I was wearing new pants and I was about to experience the German/Gym Wheel for the first time.

As I walked down the platform, I noticed a performer with a guitar, a harmonica and a Nantucket Sweatshirt.

Nothing puts a big, dumb smile on my face than a Nantucket sweatshirt. So I decided to get my camera phone out and attempt to subtly take a picture of this guy to add to my gallery of ridiculous camera phone photography.

I put my bookbag down on a bench and open the front pocket to find my phone, while my hand was in the bag I discovered that my ipod headphones cord was all tangled so I pulled it out to untangle the cord before it became a bigger disaster.

"Excuse me Miss. Do you have every song ever made on that CD?"

I hear the voice and make out what its saying but ignore it, because there is no way that that person is talking to me, and if they are, I have no interest in answering (particularly these days, because now that I'm not man hunting 24/7 I'm not even checking to see if random-talking-stranger is cute).

"Excuse me. Miss. Excuse me. Miss. Miss."

When the repetition starts everyone knows its time to answer, because otherwise there is a very good chance you might end up on the business end of the C-word and/or a punch to the face.

I look up and the street performer guy makes direct eye contact with me.

"Hey. You have every song ever written on that CD player?"

I am not quite sure what he's talking about as the only CD player I currently own is attached to the computer hidden in my backpack and if he has x-ray vision and that's what he's asking then the world is probably minutes from ending anyway, so no reason to lie.

"Um no?"

"How do you know you don't like my music if you've never heard it. Unless you're listening to every song ever made."

And now I get it.

He is insinuating that I was getting my ipod out so I could listen to my music instead of what he was going to play. And that that was incredibly rude and presumptuous of me to assume that my music was better unless I was listening to ever song ever written/played/made. Also, that I was carrying a CD player because it is obviously 1998.

At this point people have noticed. It was noon, but I was downtown, so there were enough people on the platform and we were standing far enough apart that people could hear him and realize that he was talking to me.

And so now I am embarrassed because at the beginning of this wait-for-the-train I totally liked this guy and how we shared a penchant for souvenir sweatshirts from WASP-y resort-esque islands and now I'm being lectured like a five year old who won't stop touching his junk.

At this point I zip up my bag and go back to ignoring the guy as he continues to mumble. My face is flaming red. I have untangled my ipod headphones cord at this point and put the buds in my ear listening to whatever song comes on first.

The rest of the day continues in the same ilk, with a rip in the new pants, forgetting my leftovers dinner at home and dealing with more idiots...

I'm sorry, what sort of street performer has the balls/insecurity to yell at people for not listening to him even BEFORE they have their headphones actually in?


Julia said...

"business end of the C-word"

I love it!

Anonymous said...

Two words: street performer.

Seriously. Who cares if his music was the cure to cancer set to motherfucking Wagner?

He's a street performer. And street performers never have, and never will, possess any value as human beings. Especially if he was a gutter punk.

She's pint-sized and amazing.