Wednesday, March 27, 2013

casual conversation

I love people watching. Really. As much as I dislike being around people in general (crowds are not my thing), I'm actually one of the rare types that goes shopping on Black Friday every year not for the deals, but to people watch. Just ask my mom and sister-in-law. They've spent enough years with me during our annual event to testify to my lack of actual spending to own up to the truth of what I'm really doing - gawping at the sheer humanity. Or in the case of that pulsing mass if gibbering mayhem, lack forthwith.

Used to be I'd take a notebook and jot down what I thought people were saying, or doing as I watched them. My own brand of alternate history. It was pretty popular for a while, I've lost track of some of the older creations on the internet bulletin board system. Would have kept them on my computer but the grey box did a pop and fizzle with a wicked virus a number of years back that killed a score of files. Every so often I challenge myself to do a story in conversation alone, like this:

“Mmmm…I don’t know about you, but I love coming here every Friday. Look at all that prime man flesh.”
            “Tabitha! You're married!”
            “Sweetheart, I may not be allowed to sample the treats, but I can certainly appreciate the beauty that is the male animal.”
            “That is so not right.”
            “Aw, come on! I sit and listen to you complain about that woman at work who makes eyes at everything with a penis but you can’t indulge me?”
            “It’s not that Tabby, it just seems wrong sitting here drooling over those guys.”
            “Because I'm married?”
            “Partly, but also because it’s all based on looks.”
            “Hold that thought! It’s okay for you to tear down your co-worker based on her looks, but I can’t appreciate beautiful men? What kind of half-assed logic is that?”
            “Fine! I'll be nicer to Betsy, but I just can’t stand to be around her. She makes a good target screwing up as much as she does.”
            “Tracy you have got to be the biggest hypocrite. That woman doesn’t screw up, you set her up simply because she is fat and, as you said, makes an easy target. In order to judge her worth properly you have to use unbiased standards.”
            “Why're you looking at me? Look at the guy over there. Yeah, that one with the dark curls. She just makes me want to gag. All she does is sit in that office and eat all day. Fritos, Crunch ‘n Munch, Twizzlers – you name it. She sticky fingers her way through the day with a saccharine smile – literally and physically. Being that big isn’t just disgusting, it’s positively unhealthy.”
            “I forgot about your mom. Didn’t she die of heart disease complicated by obesity.”
            “This has nothing to do with my mother!”
            “If you say so.”
            “I say so.”
            “What do you think about that one…the one over there on the left with the long brown shaggy hair?”
            “Tabby, I just don’t get it. None of these guys you are panting over looks anything like Carl. I mean, if this is what you look for in a guy, what gives?”
            “Carl loves me and I don’t even love me. This is what I look for in fantasy land. You do know the place. You would have to since it been how long since you've gone out on a date...? Tracy? Hello over there.”
            “No, you are right, I don't date. I do have fantasies. Just not over these guys.”
            “As in really never? What the hell!”
            “Not a big deal. Oh, sure I'm good enough to drink beer or watch the game with, but dating requires...Well, something a bit different.”
            “Damn! You work in construction, you get to look at all those luscious men all day and you want me to believe that not a one has asked you out for a drink or maybe a “working” lunch?”
            “Yeah, I’ve had those sorts of offers. Be still my beating heart! What romance, ‘yo, Trace, you wanna suck my dick and get some pizza?’ Thank you but no, Tabby.”
            “I didn’t realize it was like that.”
            “Tabs, I'm a mason. I lay brick for a construction company. The only other woman employed by the firm tosses back jelly doughnuts like a wino at nickel beer night. What do you think I get all day? I get, ‘hey there Trace, you can bed my bricks any old day,” or “lay me sweet mama.’”
            “You’re kidding me!”
            “Hello? Remember me? I don’t have a sense of humor.”
            “There is a lot to love about you, the least of which is that delightfully sarcastic sense of humor. Look at you! You are in great shape!”
            “Yeah, I guess fireplug is a shape. Short and squat. My arms are more muscular than most guys, and I got a working man’s tan. I look like a car door reflection, not a runway model.”
            “You are so wrong, that assessment is so wrong. Oh, oh, oh! Love the buns on the blond! Okay, so these guys do nothing for you. Tell me then what is your fantasy man, Ms. International Fireplug.”
            “You won’t laugh at me?”
            “Out with it woman before I stab you with my fork.”
            “Okay, okay, no need to get psychotic. I want a guy with perfect hands. They have to be strong but not clumsy or too big, long lean fingers that can hold me gently, but strong enough to hold me close. Not body builder stuff, but honest strength. He has to have a deep voice, not crackling or spooky movie deep, but a nice bass tone that makes you see dark nights and silk sheets just by whispering into your ear. He has to be taller than me. Damn it, I want a man that makes me finally feel like a delicate female that needs protected. I want to feel like a lady when I am with him, not a bowling partner. I want a partner and a protector, it gets old being alone. This female power shit is for the birds, coo-coo birds to be precise.”
            “Damn Trace, you’re a romantic.”
            “Yeah, I guess so. Tell anyone and I’ll break your nose, sissy-girl.”
            “You wish, She-Ra. Hell, look at the time, I have got to run and get the kids. Stay single you really aren’t missing all that much, only the screaming and the crying and that’s while the kids are asleep.”
            “Funny lady. Guess me and my make-believe man will just keep on going for now. Same time next week?”
            “Of course! But next time, if it looks like rain, we’ll sit at the indoor cafĂ© across the street. The rain makes you utterly maudlin.”

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