Crazy Day

Yesterday was a crazy, crazy day. First, my friend J was trying to set me up with a friend of his, who’s 10 years my junior, lives in NYC and, as far as I can tell, is gay. Pretty good match, I’d say. Then, I had to take the T. This in itself is not anything special, but it turned out quite crazy. Now, I don’t take the T too often. I used to take the T for 3 years to get to work, commuting from Brookline to South Boston, which meant taking the green line to the red line and then a bus. Oh, I have so many funny and weird stories from those days. But I digress.

So, I took the red line from Davis to Park. It was a little after 430pm and the car was not busy. After we left Davis, this guy came and sit across the aisle from me. He put his legs up on the seats, basically occupying three seats. He had dyed orange hair, wore rolled up jeans, white sneakers and no socks. After making himself comfortable, he turned his head and started staring at me. I started feeling uncomfortable, ’cause he kinda looked weird. Then, he took a cigarette out of his pocket, then a lighter out of his pocket, lit up his cigarette and… started… smoking! Seriously. Yes, we were on the train. WTF, I thought. I could see the thought clouds over other people: “WTF!?”.  He took two drags, and then put the cigarette out. With his fingers. I kid you not.

By that time I am feeling REALLY uncomfortable. And then came the most feared moment: He talked to me. “Miz, do you have a dollar to buy a coffee?” “No, sorry”, I replied. “You know, my buddy bought me a $10 membership to a restaurant and I need to pay him back”, he shot back. What?! A membership to a restaurant? WTF. I said nothing back, just smiled and nodded, and by that time, thank God, we arrived at Porter, I got out of the train, and then hopped on to the next car.

Wow, what a crazy man… I sit down, looked up, and found myself looking at two of the ugliest people ever. They were twin brothers and they looked like this bird (honestly), plus they were wearing glasses. I felt like I was in a theatre of the absurd play…


Nothing else to report from Porter to Park. I got off at Park, got out of the station, got on my cell and had a 5-minute conversation with J, while 80% of the guys that walked in front of me, looked at me and smiled. I’m thinking, why’s everyone so nice, this can’t be Boston. By the end of my phone call, and while I’m standing next to a snow bank, there comes this normal looking guy, who’s smoking (I know, all of a sudden everybody’s smoking), says “excuse me”, climbs the snowbank, puts out the cigarette on the snow and then throws the stub in the trash can, which is conveniently surrounded by a 3-foot high snow wall.  Then climbs back out of the snow onto the cleared area. “That’s pretty remarkable, climbing snow mountains to get to a trash can for a cigarette stub”, I tell him. “I always do that”, he replies. Well, his mother would be proud of him. And yeah, this can’t be Boston.

On another note, the Downtown Crossing stores were empty. Deserted. Sad looking. I bought nothing. I stimulated the economy enough in December. And what do I get in return? A 401(k) statement with half the $$ I had in last year. Oh, well…

Later I took the T to Harvard to see the Best of Open Screen 2007/2008 at the Brattle. I had some time to kill so I decided to get myself a hot chocolate from Peet’s (yeah, that was wrong, I should have gone to Burdick’s instead). I put my order in, the place was not busy at all, and stood by the “pick up” spot and waited for my beverage to be prepared. The guy who took my order was the same guy who prepared my cocoa, and when it was ready, he came to where I was standing, looked at me and said with an unnecessarily loud voice “Hot cocoa for P!!!” I was like, dude, I’m right here, the only person standing here, why are you shouting? Jeez…

The night was mild and I went for a walk down Brattle street. Harvard Square was deserted. It was a little before 7pm and there was no one around. Where were all the students? Not in the square, as far as I can tell. The bars, the restaurants looked empty. It was rather sad.

The Best of Open Screen Boston 2007/2008 at the Brattle was fun. The Open Screen is basically an open mic for short fims. The shorts are shown at the Coolidge, anything anyone brings that is not longer than 10 minutes. And what they showed last night was the best. A couple of shorts were quite pretentious, the majority were funny, one was really bad, and some were really good. “Restoration Project” by Jesse Kreitzer, was a short about his effort to restore a damaged reel of film that his grandfather has shot in the late 40s, and then the restored short film itself was shown, black and white images of Jesse’s father as an infant and his mother (Jesse’s grandmother) taking care of the infant. Very sweet. I also liked “Travelogue” by Kevin McCarthy, with cool images and sounds of Japan. “Kuboa” by Dave B. was interestingly beautiful, in an ethereal way.

Then I took the T from Harvard to Davis. I settled in my seat, my brain still full of images from the shorts, and then came this voice “Ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention please! Watch the black guy dance!” And, yes, there they were, the dancer and his boom box. He turned on his boom box (I love the 80s), playing a Michael Jackson tune (It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white), and started dancing. Like, advanced stuff. Doing hand stands, somersaults up and down the aisle, and somersaults while suspending himself from the poles. Yep, that’s entertainment. I have seen a dancer on the T before, but that was a very fitting conclusion to my strange T-riding day.

When I got to Davis, I walked the bikepath back home, it was such a beautiful, balmy night. I passed this woman walking her dog and then I heard her telling the dog “Gimme five, gimme five, gimme five”. I didn’t know dogs can do that.

When I finally made it home, I tell you one thing, home never felt saner…


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