Thursday, April 02, 2009

the sworn enemy of man

Last night I went and saw the Mountain Goats, which as it turns out is just one very dorky and incredibly funny guy. Seriously, maybe the funniest onstage monologues I've seen at a live show. I wish I could remember some of them to pass on to you, but alas that is not a way in which my memory works. However, just as an example, he did sing the following song:

I get letters telling me since I moved away
you've taken to hanging out on that rock about a mile from shore
given what I know about that rock mainly that it's populated by seals
I strongly suggest to you that you not hang out there anymore
'cause the seal is a wily and a vicious creature
and the seal will bite you if you give him half a chance
yeah the seal has a mind set on violence
and the seal is the sworn enemy of man

now when I say that the seal is vicious I use the term advisedly
according to webster's 9th new collegiate definition 4b.

which states that vicious means marked by ferocity
and offers as a synonym...savage
'cause the seal is a vicious and a wily creature
and the seal has a mind full of evil designs
and the seal will harm you and laugh about it
yeah the seal is not a creature you want to toy with
yeah the seal is not a creature you want to toy with

Many of his other songs are more somber, about growing up in an abusive household or the inevitable heartbreak, but man, that one is funny. (Jesse, he also sings the Golden Boy Peanut song! I wanted him to play it last night so bad, but he didn't.)
Anyway, not the point. After the concert Shana and I were waiting for the bus and a man, staggering slightly, came around asking all the hipster emo kids for change. When he came to us we both declared our lack of change, but he somehow decided to stay and talk a while. Which was fine, but he really focused on me (maybe because I was wearing the panty jacket? it is rather eye-catching). We were having a pretty normal interaction, nothing much was happening, and all of a sudden he tapped his forehead and said he could feel me "up there." He said he could feel me in his head. It kind of freaked me out. Then he went back to telling me that if I just shook my hair out and put some lipstick on I could take the world by storm. It was a disconcerting interaction, and afterwards I felt like if I were in a movie I'd be discovering my psychic powers right about now.
It seems like a day for unexpected interactions. Riding the bus home this morning, I was just bopping along in my own head when all of a sudden right behind me at the very back of the bus this woman screamed up at the bus driver, asking if the bus was going to a specific stop. I turned and told her that the bus would pass a block or two away from the stop and gave her general directions. She nodded brightly, looking kind of overly alert, and asked a few clarifying questions, also continuing to have a screamed conversation with the bus driver. I told her that probably lots of people on the bus (many of whom were nodding and making gestures to imply this) would be able to give her directions. She said, loudly, "I don't trust people to give me directions. I don't trust them. I don't like people." After a beat of silence, she said, slightly more softly, "Sorry."
I didnt respond, because really what would I have said? I stared out the window and thought unformed thoughts about people and how strange they can be. But two minutes later as we were stopped picking people up, one of the oncoming passengers informed the driver that she could see someone running for the bus and he paused to let the person catch up. Yelling Woman said, again rather loudly, "It's okay, she probably doesn't speak english anyway." I froze, totally confused by what these two things, running for the bus and speaking english, had to do with each other. Someone faster than me said "Why does it matter if she speaks english?" The bus was quiet after that, and I was relieved to get off a few stops later. I had spent the remainder of the ride thinking uncharitable thoughts about how maybe she didn't like people because they didn't like the way she acted and let her know it.

None of these things have anything to do with each other. I feel unfocused this morning.


Lauren said...

Wow. People.

ShanaRose said...

"I felt like if I were in a movie I'd be discovering my psychic powers right about now"

I have so much to say and yet none of it is cooperating to form a response.

Every one's got a lot of head power right or no.