Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Must Be Nice To Have Those Crystal Balls

It was a dark and stormy night.

Actually it wasn’t. It was a bright and chilly afternoon. In autumn. This weekend. But I’m about to tell you what an encounter with pure evil looks like, so go with me here.

I was with a certain handsome, gregarious fellow that I like a little bit. We had just finished a picnic lunch in Central Park, which is not at all a cliché, so you can all stop humming annoying Chicago songs right this minute.

Being the perfect fall afternoon that it was, things inevitably grew a little chilly. So we decided it was a good time for hot chocolate (in this context, “good time” is loosely defined as “anytime between September and April”).

By and by, we found ourselves in the Trump Tower, a building that boasts an indoor waterfall, a hideously expensive (I assume; we decided that it was in our best interest not to know for sure) bar, and a lot of floors that common folk can’t visit.

There is a brightly lit café beneath the main floor. It offers tasty hot chocolate and decent tourist watching. Someone should try combining those. “Tasty Tourist” would be a good new coffee flavor, plus I bet a lot of them would have improved demeanors if they were to be submerged in a hot beverage.

We were a little sleepy. I was leaning against the boy, he was playing with my hair. (It is not at all advisable to do this to someone who needs to stay awake, such as someone who is actively participating in a surgery. By the way.) We were talking sporadically, but mainly just enjoying the bustle around us, enjoying each other’s company, and most importantly, minding our own business. Probably this is implied, but I really want that point to hit home.

We were about to make a very important discovery about life.

A woman came up to us. Now, I am not going to lie to you. This woman was old. Grandmother at a minimum, at least she could have been if anyone had ever wanted to have children with her. And she had obviously learned a thing or two in her day, like how to be a completely pessimistic bitch to total strangers. We were about to benefit from her sagacious charm.

Pollyanna walked up to us from behind, so we had no warning that her veritable tornado of cheer was about to descend upon us. She tapped my friend on the shoulder and said in a loud (smoker-coated, Brooklyn-bred, cranky) voice, while gesticulating wildly at the two of us, “THIS… RIGHT HERE… YOU TWO… THIS IS JUST TEMPORARY.”

Our reaction, predictably, was a rather dumbfounded and unoriginal “Um…” This did not stop Pollyanna from continuing to expound on her theory.

“THIS ISN’T GOING TO LAST. IT’S ONLY FOR NOW.”

The boy recovered first (he’s good like that) and thanked her politely for coming over to tell us about that. Her response?

“AHAHAHAHAHA—cough—HAHAHAHAHAHA.”

This wasn’t a normal laugh, the sound a person makes in response to an amusing statement or occurrence. This was what a nice cocktail of bitterness, old age, chortling at one’s own “jokes” (epic failures), and throat cancer sounds like in auditory form.

“I’M JUST MESSING WITH YOU, HONEY. I’M OLD.” (No kidding.) “YOU TWO LOOK VERY CUTE TOGETHER.”

At this point, my companion was laughing. He even wished her a nice evening as she walked away. Me, I was trying to remember where the good voodoo doll vendor stands were located. (This is New York—of course there are voodoo doll vendor stands. I think.)

OF COURSE, the good comebacks started coming to me well over an hour later:

Yes, this is temporary—fortunately for humanity, so is everything else, including your life!

Who, him? He’s actually my brother.

(sad look) Yes, the doctor pronounced it terminal yesterday. I have two months left. How did you know?

2 comments:

No-omi said...

I like the last one the best, but the second one is a close second.

Why is it that good comebacks always decide to show themselves to you long after they're useful? They're like that annoying, late-staying party guest who volunteers to help clean up only after all the dishes are washed and the garbage taken out.

Mommy bird said...

That last one would have shut her up forever. Now I will be Pollyanna: Poor thing, she probably acted that way because she had lost her love and was jealous of anyone who still had happiness. Even old grouches have people who love them. (We know that for a fact, yes?) Enjoy your sappy love, may it last forever:)