Monday, March 27, 2006

What the hell am I doing here? (Nobody walks in LA)

Nolan and I walked to swim class today. That was partially because it was a nice day outside (finally!) but mostly because KB has the car today.* On the way home from the Y, we encountered a number of people also walking, as you would expect with such nice weather.

But you have to ask yourself, who is walking around town at 11 o'clock on a Monday morning? Who has nowhere else they're supposed to be? Stay-at-home moms (or dads), high school kids playing hooky, and skeevy unemployed men, that's who. So guess which ones we kept running into? The skeevy unemployed men, of course!

Skeevy guy #1 - Shirt inexplicably open almost to the waist, showing a remarkably dirty chest. He is carrying a mostly empty black plastic garbage bag (contents unknown) and smoking a cigarette. He asks if I know where Fourth Street is. I think for a minute, mostly to give the appearance of thinking about it before I get my child the hell away from his cigarette smoke, but also because I really don't know of any numbered streets in the immediate vicinity. (This isn't surprising - I know as much about navigating in Boston as I do about brain surgery. Which is to say, just enough to cause damage. You don't want to ask me for directions anywhere.) I say, "No, I'm sorry, I don't." He keeps walking. We're going the same direction, just behind him, so I go slowly so as not to be walking in his hanging cloud of secondhand smoke. Then it occurs to me that he may have said Fort Street, which is right nearby. So I call after him, "Did you say Fourth Street or Fort Street?" He turns around and says, "Either one." Okaaaay. So I point out Fort Street to him, he crosses the street, and we move along, happily smoke-free.

Skeevy Guy #2 - Not two minutes later. This guy is wearing shorts. It's a nice day for March, but it's certainly not shorts weather (unless you live in Wyoming, that is). He is coming towards us on our side of the street. As we get closer and I debate whether to make eye contact or not, he shouts, "I bet I know what your favorite color is!" This creeps me out, even if Nolan and I are both wearing green and walking along with our green stroller. That's just not something you say to a complete stranger on the street. You say, "Nice day, huh?" or "What a cute baby!", not "I bet I know what your favorite color is!" So I laugh my weak courtesy laugh and say, "How'd you guess?" and keep moving.

It was nice to walk, though. I felt like I got some decent exercise for once. And as we came up the street to our house, I spotted these crocuses in our front yard:

Which means, Yay! Spring!

Thanks for reading.

*It's the weirdest thing. We used to have no car. We walked or took the T everywhere. This worked just fine for us. We saved money, didn't need gas or insurance or any of that. Belonged to Zipcar for those occasions when we did need a car. When Nolan's birth was imminent (and I do mean imminent - we bought the car May 20th and he was born June 7th), we finally bought a car, figuring we would need one at the very least in case of emergencies, but also to be able to buy diapers in bulk and cart them home, etc. Now that we have the car, KB is more able to work in far-flung places. But when he works in far-flung places, Nolan and I don't have the car at all because he's got it. It's almost like we need two cars. Like that saying about martinis (and breasts) - one isn't enough and three is too many.

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