Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nuts, Whip and a Cherry.

Every time I go out to lunch or dinner by myself, I always think people are going to judge me if I'm not eating a salad. I went to Corner Bakery yesterday and got some Chicken Carbonara - a rare treat - and as I huddled over my plate and my book, I kept waiting for someone to openly stare at me.

I'll stop here because I have to explain how I "wait for people" to do stuff. For example, if I leave my purse at the table to refill my drink 5 ft or more away, I keep my eye on it, while rehearsing this phrase in my mind - "Hey! Get your damn hands off that!" - just in case someone tries something. Or if I'm on the bus or in any kind of crowded situation, I'm ready to shout, "Get you're fucking hands off me," should anybody cross that line.
  • I was once felt up by a boozy sweaty homeless man on the bus, and I didn't have the guts to say it; instead, I moved shamefully and shakily to the back of the bus until my stop. I looked like the crazy person! And unfortunately the other time I hesitated to use this phrase was last year when this cute rich guy offered me a ride home (just around the block) after he saw that I was struggling with packages on the street. When he went in for the boobs in mid-drive, I was too surprised to speak for a minute. And no one would have heard me.

Now I speak up and decline rides from strangers. And I mentally rehearse my vocal aggression - I haven't used it yet and thank God for that.

Anyway...when I was busy gorging on cream sauce, I kept one eye alert, just waiting for some physically fit douchebag or trim bitch to offer me an eye of disgust. If I happened to see one, I'd say something. "You got a problem?" "Can I help you?" "I'm sorry, am I eating your food?" To which they would respond by jerking their eyes away from me (like any normal person), or saying something like, "you're disgusting. I couldn't help noticing your choice of food, and I think it's the source of all your problems. Fat bitch." Or something along those lines. Then I would get vocal and argue with them, maybe tell the guy I'm not interested in attracting frat guy date rapists, or just cry because I started it. But that's me - I'll judge myself before giving others the satisfaction. And I'll call the others date rapists.

OR - I imagine that a physically fit man will pound his fists on my table, startling me and spilling my Diet Coke with lemon, and yell, "You're disgusting! What are you doing to yourself?! You're what's wrong with America! God, you freak, eat a salad." Then he spits on me or kicks the legs of my chair out from under me, or flips the hot pasta onto my lap.

I think of this every time I go out to eat, which is often. Much of my time is spent divided between comprehending the words in whatever book I'm reading, trying to look inconspicuous in the back of the place, and keeping my eye out for some jerk staring me down.

I don't really need the jerk to make me feel bad. That guy who I imagine pounding on the table is only doing what I do to myself with every bite. I'm disgusting. Why am I doing this to myself? I'm what's wrong with America. God, I'm a freak. I should eat a salad. Oh well, I can always chug laxatives.

Then afterward I duck into Baskin Robbins for a small strawberry sundae to eat at my desk because, fuck him.

So there's that,


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