Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ragey Lady, I Love You

I was coming back from Brooklyn from my smarty writing group of funsters, clanking over The Manhattan Bridge on the Q train, when I noticed the lower middle to lower class woman sitting opposite and a little to the left was glaring at me, hard, as I read Caryl Churhill’s Top Girls.  Now, it’s a pink tattered library copy and the title sounds sort of sexy and the only parts of a woman’s body you see are the feet in serious white and black pumps.

So maybe that was why she had the look on her face? Like, she thought I was reading smut, openly?

Anyway, I didn’t even know the cover looked like that until just now when it Tony Orlando and Dawned on me that maybe that was the problem.  But maybe not. I don’t know.

So I continued to Times Square and somewhere around 14th Street I looked up from my book and I noticed this very angry woman staring at me and I wondered, “Where have I seen this woman before?” 

Of course, it was ten minutes ago on the bridge. I just sort of forgot. I was tired. It was a long day. But did I really forget?

No, I got rid of her in my mind. I just pushed her out.

But then I noticed something, once I remembered that I knew exactly who she was, the woman who had been sitting there all along. She was pissed off but she was interested. She sort of wanted to know what I was doing. She liked that someone was actually reading?  Who knows!

But she was angry. Real angry. And because she was paying attention to me, or my pink book with the perhaps-smutty cover, or she figured out I was doing some work because she noticed the book had a library catalog number on it and I was taking notes, anyway, she would soften, then harden, soften, then harden. Something was going on.

People are furious. I have always tried to ignore furious people. I don’t want to be the object of rage. And though we are all capable of deep murderous rage (so the psychological pundits tell us), I have tried, mostly, to get the hell away from that side of myself.

But then there was this woman. And she was vacillating between curiosity-warmth and raging-judgment. And she seemed to be surviving that teeter-totter.  So what I usually want to write off as low-rent un-evolved public nasty person, because I am actually afraid of that kind of thing, I sort of let in. I just looked at her once or twice and all she got from me was, “I’m curious about you.” And I think that was enough for her.

No comments: