I was walking out of Dole yesterday in the 5:45 PM range, and when I say that I was minding my own business, I can't possibly fully convey the extent to which I was actually minding my own business. We're talking stepping over homeless people and dodging zephyrs of cigarette smoke - that kind of minding my own business. I didn't even interfere with the breeze.
Anyway, I was about to head out onto 45th Street when I saw this lanky blonde Russian chick - let's call her Saruman - walking in a lazy half-circle near the steps outside the Fruit Factory. Saruman's face was long but unremarkable. Her coat was similarly long, and similarly unremarkable. I was fully prepared to let Saruman fade into the tapestry of forgotten passersby when she looked me dead in the eye and said something like, "blegozhnyet skiyev p'tok."
(I'm paraphrasing. Obviously.)
I can't tell you whether those words were bad, or whether they possibly contained some sort of reference to bestiality or the suggestion that I copulate with a relative of mine. I don't actually know that it was Russian either. All I know is that, in preparation for spitting and hissing her cheerless message at me, Saruman had twisted her face into an unmistakably malicious sneer. I mean, it was like she HATED me.
I immediately suspected that perhaps she was a regular reader of this here blog here.
Granted, since I knew the whereabouts of all (both) of my regular audience, meeting a reader was a mathematical impossibility. But I had to ask myself, in what other manner could I possibly have provoked such unmitigated outrage? Saruman had narrowed her unremarkable eyes and pressed her unremarkable lips into a militaristic frown. She looked genuinely pissed off, which seemed all the more incongruous because of the great lengths to which I was going to avoid disturbing even a particle of the world around me. Remember, the thing I just wrote about dodging the zephyrs of smoke and stepping over homeless people? Yeah! And I got yelled at! In a foreign language that sounded vaguely Slavic, or possibly Finno-Ugric in origin! With no subtitles! By Saruman!
Could Saruman possibly have known that I was about to reach into my coat pocket for a granola bar?
Damned if I know. I'm used to offending people once I've opened my mouth, or once I've convinced them to waste another perfectly good few minutes of their lives on this website, reading the fruits of my latest expedition into the dark corners of my insanity and dementia. But I don't know if anyone has ever despised me simply from the very sight of me. I assume those people are out there, and that it's simply a matter of forbearance and decorum that keeps them from spouting off at me in their native tongues. Here's hoping Saruman didn't just break the seal.
By the way, this post is dedicated to Laci, who claims that he won't comment on any post not written about him. Oddly enough, though, he commented on one of my Pope-related pieces from last week, but only to point out that I'm a kid toucher. I'm telling you, my resume is PERFECT for that job.