We're All Damaged

Monday, November 2, 2009

Street Theater

Last night was the first Halloween night since I was 18 in which I have been neither drunk nor dressed as some sort of an idiot. When you live in a city like Baltimore, clarity of mind often affords you a front row seat to some pretty funny $hit.

It was maybe 2 a.m., and I was awake, lying in bed, thinking about whatever it is that people think about at that time of night: stuff that might make a cool screenplay . . . things I should have said to bullies when I was 12 . . . whether or not I’m the sort of guy who can pull off a soul patch. I kind of think that I might be.

On weekend nights, our street is, essentially, a drunken pedestrian highway leading away from the bars. And so, through the bedroom window, I heard lots of drunk girls laughing, and I heard the clomping of the shoes they’d chosen hours ago but were now regretting. I heard lots of guys, too. They were mostly shouting and pushing each other into parked cars. One group talked about how awesome it’d be to smash my neighbor’s pumpkins. This led to a loud argument about Billy Corgan and whether or not he sucks.

Among all this noise, however, a simple exchange between two passing males has stuck with me all day today. They were drunk, but not aggressively so, and they didn’t seem to be in any sort of hurry. One said to the other:

“And so I told that crazy bitch; I said, bitch, you get out of my house or I’ll have my mom throw you out!”

Suddenly, I was wide awake.

“What did he say?” I said, not out loud of course, but to myself, all inner-monologue-y. If Baltimore were a different kind of city, and if I were a different kind of person, I’d have leapt from my bed, thrown on whatever clothes were nearest and chased them down Charles Street.

“Guys!” I’d have yelled. “Hold up. I need some more information about what you just said.”

There’s a good chance that at that point they would have, out of reflex, simply bludgeoned me. But, assuming the best-case scenario here, I’d have asked. “What is it that makes that bitch so crazy? Does she live with you and your mom? And, why do you need your mother to throw her out for you? Seriously, dude, what kind of women have you surrounded yourself with?”

Sadly though, I stayed there in bed, and within seconds their voices and their footsteps were gone. And now I’m left to fiddle obsessively with this domestic Rubik’s cube. There’s a scene in my mind in which a middle aged woman with a perm throws a screaming 22-year-old girl with a tongue ring out onto the sidewalk. In my mind, there’s a small dog barking incessantly, and everyone is smoking. “Get out of here, you crazy bitch!” she’s screaming. Somewhere, in the distance, there are police sirens.

Baltimore, Maryland. Charm City.


1 comment:

  1. Mom protecting their son from crazy girlfriends - now who hasn't had THAT experience??