Sunday, March 01, 2009
Time For Stormy Weather

I don't know if it's because today was the first day of Lent, or because of the unwelcome drizzle, or because of the economy and the general sense of malaise, but it was a fucking rough day out there today.

On the MAX ride downtown, I and my fellow passengers were treated to a 20-minute oratory by a street lady on the subject of her snatch, and how often she shows it to crackheads. It was one of those situations where she was talking to nobody and to everybody, and for the first five minutes after she boarded we all sat there in uncomfortable, forced inattention. Then the silence turned slowly into guarded snickering, and finally into outright giggling and amused glances shared between strangers. It was a rare kind of situation in which I and the cholo sitting across from me could briefly be united under the umbrella of one crazy old lady's hyper-sexualized ranting. I suppose you could say that old lady's crotch brought us all a little closer together.

Having reached my stop, I walked over to the credit union ATM to make a deposit, and on my way back saw coming towards me a young guy in glasses screaming that he was in the FUCKING WAR and we were ALL PREJUDICED. I crossed the street, partly to avoid being in his direct path and partly because I was headed that way anyway; a fuzzy hipster on a fixie grinned and said, "why are you antagonizing him? that's so mean!" We had a little chuckle together and stood and watched his progress for a moment before heading back down our respective paths. I arrived at work and was greeted by my friend Castle, who seemed downcast. "How's it going?" I asked. "Not so great, I just got called a racist." He'd only moments before had to remove a guy from the store for getting belligerent after being asked not to lie on the floor. A little questioning revealed that the guy in question was the same guy I'd just seen cursing up and down second avenue. The guy had told Castle that he was telling him to leave "just because I'm another race..." and it's worth pointing out that both Castle and this guy are white. Later on in the evening we had another crazy street guy threaten to "cause fear" in the store. It was like that all day.

And then, upon coming home, I had the unpleasantly awkward task of telling my roommates that I'm moving out. Not that they were angry about it or anything -- I've fulfilled all my obligations to them, and I'm going to do everything I can to smooth the way. But still, it's going to be harder to get someone to replace me now that they've got a baby in the house. I could see the brief flash of "oh shit" cross Bob's face... but hell, I've got to do what I've got to do, and I don't want to live here anymore.

On the plus side, Liliana and I snagged a place right on Belmont near 30th. It's no dream home, just an early-70s vintage apartment with almost exclusively hipsters for neighbors. But it'll do, and Belmont is one of my favorite streets in town. It's not right in the middle of the thickest part of the hipster district, but it's close enough to walk when I want to go there; it still has a little bit of scuzz factor mixed in with some rather affluent surroundings. It's close to everything, it'll cost the same as this place, and I'll have the luxury of having only one roommate. So I'm excited about that.

These days I seem to swing between chipper optimism and anxious dejection. There's so much opportunity and possibility, and yet right now every attempt seems so fruitless. Work is death by a thousand cuts; people are angry and snappish, and many of us are feeling quite demoralized. And yet, I'm relatively free of burdens or obligations, I somehow manage to stay pretty well on top of things, and I do a little work every day on things that have meaning to me. Earlier this week I was told to shut up by a guy spending my entire month's rent on CDs, but I still find a little time to do something for little girls whose families have considerably less to work with than I do. Things aren't great, but I've been through worse times (so far.)

And when things get really bad, we whisper the words "President Obama" to ourselves, and feel a little better.

PS: For whatever it's worth, today is this blog's fifth birthday.
12:08 AM ::
Amy :: permalink
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