Monday, 15 April 2013

Men, Men Everywhere

On Saturday I was stopped by a man on the escalator. "I saw you," he mumbled, "and I really like your hair colour, and I thought I should talk to you. Where are you from? Oh, Sweden. You don't look Swedish because you don't have blonde hair. I thought you were part Indian." He stops for breath and holds up his hands. "Give me ten seconds. You can start counting down. " He fixes me with a look. "Are you interested in me or not?"
I admire him for his tenacity.

Today another man ran after me. "Miss!" He had come to divulge his romantic overtures as well. "I must see your receipt."
It was the cashier from Cold Storage. I find the receipt in my wallet, and he inspects it. My card had been declined. He says something very polite about going back to the store, sorry to trouble me for the inconvenience and that he'll carry the bags--and then I have to interrupt and I say I haven't any money and awkwardly hand him the groceries--he stares, for a moment disbelieving, then embarrassed of having to rob me of my daily sustenance, and we part ways, equally sheepish.

In class little David Han asked me why I was still in school by four thirty. (Nevermind that he himself had been running around with his cardboard armour up until that point and at that particular moment he was securing the strap of his shield with tape from my room.)
"I am grading," I replied. "Sometimes I go to Starbucks to write on my story."
"Don't people stare at your hair?"
"I suppose they do."
"Do they like it?"
"I guess?" I say, "Someone paid me a compliment just the other day."
"Are you going to be here next year?"
"Yes. I'll be here."
"That's a relief. Then I can still do stuff like this."

By 'this' I can only assume he meant making armour out of cut cardboard and hanging around my air conditioned classroom until his mother arrived to pick him up, and maybe, just maybe it was a thank you and a see you later.

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