You'd think a person could quietly slip into a sandwich shop, grab some slippery meat on bread, and get the heck out - without unwanted exposure to the pendulous milkbag of a garrulous crack ho, especially if that person is a stare-at-her-shoes, mind-her-own-business, I-just-want-my-tuna-on-white type.
Not if that person is me.
A few nights ago, a friend and I were grabbing some sammiches before subjecting ourselves to some dreary French movies. (By the way, if you ever watch the movie "Fat Girl," and are perplexed/upset/freaked out by the ending, don't spend too much time overthinking the whole thing. Just watch the extras featuring interviews with the director. All plot/motivation/character/sociological questions will be rendered pointless, because the insanity and egotism of the director will explain everything. Or, as my friend and I summed it up, "Ohhhh...she's a totally crazy bitch. Okayyyy.")
Back to the story. It was New Year's Day. It was a lazy day, as it should be. Lazy like: I took a bath and shaved my legs and felt satisfied with accomplishing only that. My friend M. picked me up at about six p.m., and I was fresh from the tub, and anticipating going straight to my brother's house (where I was housesitting) for a girly movie/pedicure/drink/giggle night, so I was underdressed. I had a backpack full of goodies and clothes for the next day, but didn't see any point in pulling on any more clothes than a t-shirt and jammy pants, covered with a long winter coat.
I had also packed some food. Hoping to undo some of the cellular damage done by the indulgences of New Year's Eve, I was planning on eating edamame, soy cheese, and pistachios during the movies. But M had plans. Delicious plans. She was fixated on a Subway stop. With my will needing no more temptation than that, I was in on that plan immediately. We drove by two Subways that were closed, and honed in on our last chance, up the street a bit. It was open. Yay!
We were first in line. M. ordered her veggie pattie, and I ordered my tuna, and the "sandwich artists" began to scoot our snacks down the production line, sprinkling them with lettuce and mayo and whatever, when a woman staggered in from the convenience store a few steps away. She clutched a pack of menthols in one claw, and some wrinkled bills in another. She waited patiently for a few moments, and then began to fidget. I felt her turn and look at me.
"Are you wearing your pajamas?" She asked me, and laughed. "So am I!"
"Yes," I said. "I wasn't feeling very ambitious today." Uncomfortable "heh heh" noises then came from my mouth.
"Girl, me too! Lookit!" And she hiked her coat up so I could see her pajama bottoms. "I tell you, I didn't want to do nothing today. You know, on the TV, they were having an 'Andy Griffith' Marathon. And I love me some 'Andy Griffith.' Girl, please." She smiled a big, gap toothed smile at me, and I tried not to look at her terrible skin, and her red and rheumy-looking eyes.
She gave my clothes a closer look. I was wearing my most obviously pajama-y pants, the pink ones with the cherry pattern (featured in the "Calpurnia Loves Edamame" post). My long wool coat was a similar hue of baby pink.
"But they look good! They match your coat! That's nice!"
"You know, after that, on the TV, they also had a 'Law and Order' Marathon, and I love me some 'Law and Order.' Girl, please."
I looked over at M., who gave me the "omigod, why do these things always happen to us" face.
"Lookit, I'm still in my housecoat!" The woman then pulled her overcoat to the side to show me what was underneath - a low-cut something-er-other with a low-slung, free-flying boobie about to pop out of the top. M. and I confirmed later that we, indeed, saw no actual nipple, but the psychic damage was done. That was enough. The moment was upon us. They hadn't even put the black olives on my sandwich yet, and were nowhere near shoving our food into the getaway plastic baggies. Unnnnnngh.
I turned to M. and asked her a question, the content of which is unimportant. Because of the titty trauma, I can't actually remember what it was. I just had to shift the focus of attention to something, anything else. I may have asked her about the relative deliciousness of the veggie patty sandwich. I may have asked her whether her gerbils prefer celery to carrots as snacks. I may have asked her if she ever had a crush on Hitler. It doesn't matter.
Eventually we finished up our business and hightailed it back to the car, where we laughed and cursed our fate.
Why do people find me so approachable? Why does every smelly hobo on the CTA gravitate to the seat right next to me? Why do people ask me for directions in places where I'm a total stranger? Why do women in airports ask me to hold their babies for them while they go to the bathroom? Why do crack hos show me their boobies in Subway?