Followers, follow me! or lead me, either way.

Friday, February 01, 2013

I wish I could turn off my power of smell sometimes. I feel assaulted by patrons' smells: cigarette smoke, cologne, bad breath, all in the first hour or so of work. It's not always a blessing to have a super sense of smell but not like a dog's sense of smell which is supposed to be a thousand times more sensitive than a human's.

On the other hand, if losing my sense of smell went along with a loss of taste, like a co-worker's loss of both due to chemotherapy, then, well, no, thanks!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Down There


    She was walking around the square for the second time that morning when she heard the flirtatious greeting. She kept walking lazily, not even turning her head to see the speaker. The heat made her tired and she scanned the café’s bordering the plaza for a familiar face, looking for an escape from her solitary promenade or from the stranger probably following her. The purple string bag weighed heavily on her shoulder and she wished she hadn’t brought along Let’s Go Mexico on that day’s outing. Her bag also contained her suntan lotion, SPF #24, her journal, a few blank postcards and a map of the town. She had left her camera at the hotel.

    “Hola!” she heard the same reedy male voice, this time at her side. She turned slightly. This one was tallish, about 5’8” and his skin was on the light side. He had a nice smile, was probably in his mid-20’s and had a good build. He was wearing a plain white peasant shirt, a change from the American college or rock band T-shirts that she was used to seeing, and a macramé bracelet.
    “Habla español? Como se llama usted?” he asked eagerly, using the formal form.
    She debated for a moment whether to let on that she spoke Spanish. But she couldn’t resist an opportunity to show off. But was he going to be a pain like the last one, that jerk she met in Oaxaca?
    “Me llamo Maria,” she lied, picking an easy and common name. She felt she was protecting herself a little if he didn’t know her real name. She’d done it so often she was beginning to think of it as her real name, her Mexican alias.
    He repeated the name, adding on a murmured “que linda” and she wondered if he was referring to her own attractiveness or the name’s. He then introduced himself quickly and took her hand; she struggled to separate what he said, were there three or four names? Did she hear Jose or Jorge? She thought he’d said Pedro also, but it didn’t really matter.
    She looked again at the café tables as they walked but she didn’t see anyone she knew. She realized he was still holding her hand and she extricated herself from his grip.
    Other men strolling the plaza stared at them as they passed. Their prying eyes appraised the, perhaps wondering if she would go to bed with this guy, and by extension with them as well.
    “You speak Spanish very well,” he said to her in English.
    “But we have hardly talked at all,” she protested in Spanish, annoyed and flattered at the same time.
    “But I can tell you are intelligent. You are very beautiful, too. You are so different from the women here,” he said earnestly.
    She grimaced at the quick comparison. She knew all too well, every minute of her trip, how different she was with her blonde hair and blue eyes and strange clothes. And why wasn’t he speaking Spanish. She needed the practice.
    “I like to teach you my town. See you the mural in the town hall? It has a lot of meaning for my peoples. I enjoy to show you the mural, if you are not…” he stumbled.
    “Busy? No, no estoy ocupada. Pero…” she hesitated, trying to decide, to think of an excuse not to go with him.
    He put his hand gently on her shoulder and she felt the warmth like a heating pad radiating throughout her body. “I know you enjoy the mural,” he said in a quiet and confident way, looking into her eyes.
    She thought to herself, “what the hell” and said the universally understood “okay.”  He took her bag in a gesture of chivalry, slung it over his shoulder and then took her elbow and led her in the direction of the city hall. She stiffened as she felt eyes watching them as if they were going straight to a hotel, the loose “gringa” and the local.
    But she liked her elbow cradled in his smooth brown hand, she liked his masculine air of competence and she wanted to be guided for a change, to forget about the guidebook and the map; she decided to let herself enjoy the company after the solitude of nearly five days. She leaned into his arm just a little as he talked of the history of his town.
    It was after seeing the mural that she started to feel a little scared. They had spent an hour perched on the stairs where the huge mural was painted, busy officials and townspeople passing, while he still had her bag and in fact, would not let her carry it herself. She didn’t mind much. He had gone from holding her elbow to holding her around the waist. Once when they were laughing he had stroked her hair until she moved her head away.
    They left the city hall and he said, “Let’s go rest. It’s too hot to walk around,” as the church bells rang out the noon hour. She looked around the street and saw the vendors closing up their stores and women scurrying off with their infants on their backs. She felt like she would fall if she didn’t sit down soon, and she was very conscious of the sun beating down. She felt tired of struggling to understand him, both in Spanish and in English. There was the hush of midday, a stillness that always made her feel out of sorts.
    “Me gustó el mural pero tengo que ir al hotel para descansar,” she told him firmly, wanting to show her appreciation for his tour but wanting to go rest now.
    “Podria acompañarte?” he asked, wanting to go with her. She said no.
    “Pero quiero estar contigo,” he demanded, pulling her closer. So he wanted to be with her. But of course that didn’t mean tomorrow or even later in the day, that meant right now. So, it was going to be like that, was it?
    “No, yo quiero descansar, solo” she said, and repeated it a couple of times, realizing that “solo” should be feminine and thus be “sola”. But was he even listening to her?
    “Mi bonita, mi amor, conozco un lugar tan especial,” he started to describe a cool and quiet place nearby with a fountain and ducks and a boat they could rent to go on the lake. It sounded wonderful and as she wavered he suddenly reached to pull her head towards him and she instinctively lurched backwards, like a horse rearing. He was expecting to kiss her, apparently, but she wasn’t’ going to, not that way at least.
    He took her elbow again and sighed loudly. His lower lip stuck out a little and he looked sad.
    “Excuse me. We walk to the hotel now, okay?” he asked.
    She nodded and they walked in silence for a while. At the square she plopped down onto the nearest empty bench and he sat down next to her. Children played and old men chatted.
    “Quieres un refresco?” he asked, and she watched him as he sauntered to the kiosk to get a cold soda for her. Sitting in the shade of a huge tree, she felt better already. Her head wasn’t pounding anymore. He returned to her with a green bottle, which she was disappointed to see, was not frosty cold. She gulped it down as he watched her and he smiled. The soda was lukewarm and very sweet, sickeningly sweet, and so a few mouthfuls were enough. He drank the rest and gave the empty bottle to a kid nearby to take back to the kiosk and collect the deposit. The kid then returned and talked her into buying a pack of gum he was selling.
    She looked longingly over at her bag still in the young man’s grip and wished she were alone so she could write in her journal. Though how long she would be left alone was questionable, since even now sitting with him the street vendors were besieging them at regular intervals to buy everything from flowers for the lady to rugs.
    They rose, her with some effort, and as they walked towards her hotel they talked about her life in the United States.
    They were a couple of blocks from her hotel when he pointed out a quaint little alley. She peered down it, seeing cobblestone and a statue of the Virgin Mary.
    “Es un callejon muy interesante,” he said as he led her into it. She wondered if callejon meant alley and was starting to ask him when she felt herself pushed brusquely against the wall, his body against hers.
    “Que haces?” she asked him in a small trembling voice, realizing that the quaint little alley was dark and empty of people.
    “Maria, mi amor” he breathed into her ear, and she felt his erect penis pressing against her. She felt a tremor of excitement down there, and confusion, too. She had promised herself in therapy that she would never do this again, never let this happen again to her, so what was she doing there?
    “No, no quiero” she said, and tried to push him away. She wondered what it would be life if they continued.
    “Por favor, Maria, un momentito mas, por favor,” he begged, grabbing her hands and kissing them. Then he kissed her neck and she felt herself going under, under, how weak she was, she couldn’t stop him, it felt so good…
    “Quitale los pantalones,” he commanded her sternly, and she awoke abruptly. Take off her pants in this alley? One of his hands was fumbling at her pants zipper while the other was rubbing her down there.
    “No, dejamé, stop it!” she cried. They struggled for a while until he gave up disgustedly.
    She stumbled out of the alley and clutched at her pants. She realized he still had her bag and she turned to see him behind her, a sulky look on his face. Oh, what a jerk, what a baby! Now how was she going to get to her hotel without letting him know which one she was staying in?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How many middle-aged women have newly taken up the guitar? Many. Me, too. I am trying to keep my brain limber, my fingers dexterous, but it is such a challenge. Even getting the time and applying myself to practicing is difficult.
But to play a song even moderately well is the reward. Singing and playing (at the same time!) is so cool...I've always thought my singing voice was terrible but it's not so bad, really.
Getting to play songs that were favorites, wow! Thinking about writing a song...but I would have to apply myself, focus, work and there's the rub. I am always trying to do too much.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Woman in gym, talking to her friend: "I bought this at Wal-Mart (hiss) for $20. I only buy clothes on sale. I like to replace my clothes every year. It makes me feel good."

No consciousness about Wal-Mart and the high cost of those low prices! Privileged or should I say spoiled Americans! Replace all her clothes every year? I think only a woman would do such a thing.

Maybe I misunderstood her. I hope so.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

So this patron comes up and presents me with a piece of paper, saying it was a quiz. First question, true or false:
I have boogers.

Second question:
I have a pretty smile.

Okay, well, I said True to both and made him happy. More importantly, it made him go away.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I recently talked to a man who seemed to think that all women with cleavage have to do to get what they want (in this case, a taxi on New Year's Eve) is to show it.

How naive can you get? Men are essentially naive, perhaps willingly so, to women's actual world and experiences in it.

What might actually happen? The taxi driver could insist on a feel of such cleavage, putting the woman in a very uncomfortable and even dangerous situation.

An obvious extension of this kind of thinking is that women should or have to let men have sex with them to get what they want. The assumption is that men are always in a position of control and power. If the taxi driver is a (straight) woman, the assumptions are shown to be faulty in this regard.

The attitude that also bothers me is that this man thought I should be manipulative to get what I want. And that it was so easy.

Is he ignorant of the dangers women face? Or just trying to flatter me? Or just stupid?

"A Serious Man", "A Single Man" and now "Solitary Man". So many movies about men. And then we have the new movie, "GIRL with a Dragon Tattoo" about a mid-20's WOMAN!

How many movies can you name with the word woman or women in the title?

  • "Pretty Woman": about a prostitute, one of the few female dominated professions of interest to the male audience (the one that's really important since women will watch movies about men and men won't generally watch movies about women)
  • "Scent of a Woman": two main characters are both men so it's not even about a woman
  • Can I count "Wonder Woman"?