I don’t dress for success.
When two douchebag-jock Cali-types entered the store and began discussing rock stars, I paid little attention at first.
When I realized they were talking about me, they noticed the chill in the air. Customer service went out the window, and Mr Smartass took over.
“Metallica? Is that who I’m thinking about?” one said.
“How am I supposed to know what you’re thinking about?” I wondered aloud.
“We’re trying to decide which rock star you look like.”
Now they were pissing me off. “Poison? Fuck you.” I said it with a fake smile, but they noted the sarcastic tone.
“We meant no disrespect, dawg.” Then he turned to his buddy. “Definitely Poison.”
“There’s no pink or glitter on me. Or a fucking do-rag either. I dress like this because I work here part time for minimum wage and I am poor.”
“Dude, relax. It’s a compliment to look like a rock star. The hair… I wish I could think of that artist from the ’80s…”
I pondered aloud, “Dude, how old are you? You were sperm in the ’80s.” That got us all laughing, at least.
“We really mean no disrespect. You don’t have to cop an attitude.”
“What do you guys do, sit around and jack off to the Fashion Police?”
They left, bewildered. “Wow, that dude’s an asshole.”
Maybe if you hadn’t stood there dissecting my appearance in front of me like I wasn’t there? I may have been nicer.
I didn’t stay offended for long. First, buddy Alx dropped in, then Cookie, who I got a hug from. She entered the store at her usual just-before-closing-time and said, “Hi, sexy.”
She can comment on my appearance any time. Especially when she says it like that.
At times, looking slightly down-and-out works to my advantage. I’m always clean, but at a distance I could be mistook for a transient or a Road Warrior. So when I returned from Meg’s last night, passing the Pythian Building, I heard a woman call, “Hey! Are you hungry?”
Maybe if it’s not a half-eaten chicken leg. “What ya got?”
“Come here and I’ll show ya!”
I don’t know about you, but when a hot young thang says that to me, I will follow her into an alley or doorway for a look.
She went inside the building and returned with three large carry-out boxes and a foil swan on top, and handed me the whole batch. “I hope you have hungry friends. There’s a lot of food there.”
I thanked her and dashed in front of the MAX, timing it perfectly. I was stink-eyed by bums the whole way back to work, but I didn’t care.
Survival of the fittest.
“Fuck Weird Steven! THIS is how ya do it!” I plopped the whole mess down on the counter and began the excavating.
The first box had what looked like the biggest Caesar Salad I’d ever seen. (Full disclosure: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Caesar Salad.) I handed it to my co-worker. “You want this?”
“Fuck yeah! I’ll grub on that for days!” My 22-year-old compatriot in imminent gluttony was almost as excited as I was.
There were cold cuts, cheeses, figs, dates, strawberries. Cute little dinky sweet pickles the size of a baby’s… index finger? I guessed the weight, priced it at Whole Foods prices, and figured I’d scored about $500 worth of table scraps.
By the time I divvied it all up at home, I had about two pounds of pastrami or corned beef. (Bloody-colored roast beef with a salty burn.) A bunch of skewered meat, chicken I think. It made a nice sandwich later. I also filled two quart-sized Zip-Lok bags with cheese cubes. Expensive cheese cubes. I foresee a large pan of scalloped potatoes for the holidays. Or maybe that macaroni and cheese I’ve been meaning to experiment with.
The aluminum foil origami swan? It contained about twenty dark chocolate Christmas trees on a stick. I handed out a few, and stashed a baggie full in my room. Sweets for my sweeties.
So my raggedy-man appearance stays. I can even take the rock star/pretty hair comments. But for Chrissakes, tell me I look like Neil Young. Or Ronnie James Dio. Or fucking Alfred Hitchcock.
But not Poison.