Talk to the Hand, Cause My Face May Wanna Scream at Yah

Thursday, March 14, 2013 | 1 Comment(s)

I like people.  I think we all know that.  I'm a social animal.  You keep me indoors for too long and I will start clawing at the doorknob for a night out.  That said, today was simply too much.

Being a local bartender, I have an ever increasing number of townsfolk who know me on sight.  And, as bartending is a job based on approachability, it is not surprising that people come up and say hello, even when I'm at the coffee shop.  Truth be told, I like it.  These are the people in your neighborhood, says the song.  They're the people that you meet when your sittin in your coffee seat, they're the people that you meet each day.

But, and this is a critical but, we are not close friends.

And this is not to say that I don't have close friends that I also see at the bar, etc. etc. -- but the majority of these people are acquaintances.  And, as Seinfeld would say, "Not that there is anything wrong with that."

Today the world was my friend, and it simply would not shut the fuck up.

I went to the coffee shop to be joined by our magician patron.  A slight of hand based card-shark, this guy sometimes gives me the creeps.  It's just that he has a semi-abrasive personality and . . . he's a magician.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy him at the bar, I mean, who doesn't want to get tipped in magic tricks (just a joke), but he epitomizes distraction.  Even when not saying hello, he is going through an endless routine of shuffling, cutting, and peeling cards onto the table.  While he may not be verbally trying to grab my attention, his hands say, "look at me!!!, look at me!!!"

At lunch, I escaped to my favorite little French spot, for a nice quiet lunch, writing at the bar amongst my friends who work there.  Not long into my meal, a tall white guy with a dollop of blonde-grey hair sat one-seat down from me a grabbed a menu.  Not 30 seconds later he leans over to me and says, "I see you're wearing a Red Sox cap, did you hear what happened to Big Papi?"

I do know what happened to Big Papi.  And I am wearing a Sox hat.  "He hurt both his achilles, and he's out indefinitely at this point."  My new neighbor took my response to his query as permission to continuously talk at me for the next 40 minutes.  Non-stop.  I began shoveling my food down so as to escape the locked prison his verbal assault.  "Have you been to France?" "Do you speak French?" "Mike Napoli is faster than Papi though."  "I've never been to Switzerland, have you?  Oh wait, I've been to the airport.  That was pretty nice.  The one in Zurich.  You ever been to that airport." 

I literally went to the bathroom to hide out.  From there I texted the maitre d to advise him that a potential throat stabbing was about to occur in his restaurant.  His response came immediately: "I know SHUT THE FUCK UP WEIRDO."  Pardon his English, he's French.

My check was waiting for me when I came back to the bar.  Cause they're a classy place.  Then, off I escaped back to the relative safety of the coffee shop.

Where a townie with his adorable son rolled up on me at the bar (literally--the kid was in his stroller).  His conversation began with a double check that I was still bartending across the street, and then inquiring if I was just biding my time til a 6 o'clock shift.  I responded that I wasn't working at the bar today and that on my "off" days (I used the air quotes), I did free-lance writing, as I was today.   He, seeing the Microsoft Word document open on my screen, continued to plow forward along his conversational path.  He asked more about the bar as I hit my threshold for pretending to give a shit and simply turned back around towards my work.  He still made a few more comments before taking the hint from the backside of my shoulder.

I know this sounds harsh.  And there is a piece of me that feels bad doing it.  But the reality is that if I don't ignore people sometimes, I end up being the one feeling bad about my lack of productivity come the end of the day.  And if I don't look after my free time, no one else will.

Thank goodness it's movie night.


Movie night was supposed to be the end of this post.  Sadly, it was not.  Because, behind my wife and I at the movie theater, sat two girls who I would describe as "almost certainly Dungeons and Dragons fans.   One girl spoke without interrupting for the 20 minutes leading up to the movie.  The only topic of discussion: Different English-sepaking accents.   "I once knew this guy who grew up around Polish people, so he spoke English with a Polish accent, but he didn't even know Polish, which was so weird.  And in England they say crazy stuff like 'half four' instead of 4:30, which isn't too weird, but then, if it's like, 4:40, they would say, like, 10 past half four (side note: this is completely untrue), so it gets, like, wicked confusing.  And don't even start me on how they spell things . . . "

As the trailer for the current Hayao Miyazaki animated film series came onto the screen, and the lights dimmed, I clung to the idea that this girl would stop talking like the South clings to outdating laws regarding slavery. Not today.

Today was the day where people talked no matter what.  And so, fittingly, as the mash up of Miyazaki's five films flitted about the screen.  D & D girl behind us took to identifying each one in turn.  "That one's Mononoke.  That one's Spirited Away.  Then Castle.  That one is Princess Mononoke again.  That's Totoro.  Then Spirited Away again.  Castle. And there is Howl's Moving Castle.  

She called out the names of the five films being shown for the entire 3 minute trailer.  I have never wanted a katana so badly before.  The only thing that saved her life was that she clamped her jaws once the feature began.

Thank goodness my wife doesn't talk in her sleep.

1 comment:

  1. i've been thinking about this recently.

    i'm starting to think that if i just tell people they're bothering me when they're bothering me, and then deal with the uncomfortable awkwardness that follows, those people will either eventually stop talking to me, thinking i'm an asshole or whatever, or like the honesty, and then i won't have to spend so much time pretending to care, and instead i can spend more time ACTUALLY CARING ABOUT THE PEOPLE I'M TALKING TO. although i think i need to be not dealing with the public before i put that plan into effect.

    also, were you just burning D&D? that aggression will not stand, man.

    also, i love you. don't stab anyone.