I love being downtown sometimes. I just meet the most interesting people. Speaking of which, the other day I was walking down the street and two gentlemen in maybe their mid-to-late 40s were approaching from the other direction. One of them bent over and scooped up some snow in his hand. To throw at his friend? Nope. He threw the snowball at me. I’m going to try to quote him for a while, but to get the full effect try reading it at a quick pace and slurring the words in your head a bit.
“Oh, ha, sorry. I just had to, you know. Hi there my name is Malcolm and I was just, ya well what’s your name then?”
“My name is Christy.”
“Ah Christy yes that’s great. Nice to meet you. Wow! Your eyes are really blue, Wow. I think if I was walking down the street and you were walking like this [puts his head down as if looking at his feet] I could look up at you and see right through to – up to the sky it’d look just like that. Has any one ever told you that before?”
“Really, Wow, get out! [he said this with a flail of the wrist] oh ya, but I’m – I’m not gay or anything, everyone keeps asking me that, though and I think that is so crazy. So are you gay?”
“No, I’m not”
"Oh great, not that I, I mean I… well you know I just moved here from Seattle and so I’m kinda new here and I - I’m not drunk or anything, but that guy – WHEW! [which he said pointing to the friend he had been walking with, who had never even paused in his steps, which and made me wonder if they even really knew each other] ya, I tell you what, you’re the first girl that’s really talked to me and I’m Malcolm can I get a hug from you?”
[Okay, at this point I’m ready for the conversation to be over, not that he’s not a very nice son of God and all, but really. So armed with the knowledge that I was about 20 yards away from the safety of the front doors of my office building and knowing that hugs generally come either at the beginning of the conversation or the end I decided to give it a shot. I mean, if this guy asked Jesus for a hug would Jesus say, “No you're drunk and awkward.”? Not a chance.]
So I said, “um… alright.” And if he wasn’t drunk then someone dipped him in alcohol before he left home without his knowledge.
“Okay well I just moved here from Seattle and I’m just working over at Nordstrom’s, you know I do the reci- I’m uh a clerk at night in the back I – Listen… I work for the government. So if I gave you my number would you call me? I just, I, oh – are you eating this [he glanced down and saw I was holding a bag with jerky in it] you eat – let me tell you, this stuff, this stuff is packed with preservatives and all sorts of stuff and…”
I finally just decided to end the conversation, “Okay, well I’ve got to go now so have a nice day.”
“Ya, okay, ya.” And that was that, conversation over.
I might be wearing a sign or something that says CRAZY DRUNK OLD GUYS PLEASE ACCOST ME IN THE STREET, because it’s not as infrequent of an event as I would prefer. I guess I should let everyone know that sometimes people throw hugs into conversations whenever they want and you cannot depend on a hug to get you out of talking to anyone. I thought I had that hugging thing figured out, but I guess I just don’t know that much about interacting with humans, particularly drunk ones.
6 months ago