Thursday, March 01, 2007

Love Troubles

… Our nearby Post Office, about 10 minutes before closing on Thursday afternoon, and our heart lifts momentarily because the long line of variegated R. Crumb-etched humanity that usually stretches out the door and into the lobby isn’t there, just a couple of people waiting for service, and we take our place behind a big-boned mamacita with two bebés in tow who’s jabbering en español AT TOP VOLUME into her cell, something about a "BAD SITUATION" that appears to involve a husband or boyfriend or perhaps both, we can’t understand most of it but SHE SURE IS LOUD and insistent about the subject, sounds as if she’s talking to a girlfriend or sister or maybe her moms …

Mamacita’s youngish and on the meaty side, not fat but headed that way in 5, 6 years, lots of brown cleavage spilling out the front of the clingy little shirt that rides way up on her belly, exposing more baby-fatish flesh ’round the hips and navel way, and we’re checking her out while privately bemoaning the loss of private space or some such bullshit but she’s TALIKING SO DAMN LOUD it’s impinging on our thought processes, jackhammering straight into our forebrain, and one of the bebés, tucked in a carrier under a blanket, is emitting this low-level keening while the other, a little girl of 2 or thereabouts, rolls around on the floor and pulls at the blanket, Mamacita oblivious to it all ….

When a guy strolls up behind us in line and he too is yakking into his cell, at much lower volume but with lots (lots) of uh-huhs and casual profanity …. fuck yeah and fuck this and that and fuckety-fuck fuck double-fuckeroo … so we crane around, cocking our chin and trying to do our best DeNiro ’cause at this moment our head’s about to pop off and we’d be pulling a Travis Bickle if we were similarly strapped … and we see he’s a tall, curley-haired guy of indeterminate racial-ethnic origin, maybe a dusky white guy or light black fellow or a Hispanic or maybe an Arabic type, but a fer-sure Rutting and Roistering, Instant Communicating Young American and he’s going on with the person on the other end: “Yeah, I know you … I know you … ”

Sounds as if he knows this person, maybe in the biblical sense we’re thinking, and sure enough: “Yeah, I know you---you like cock.” Wha ..? Did we hear what we thought we heard? Nah, he said, "You like Clark," didn't he? Or "You like Koch." But no: She likes cock! Or maybe he likes cock ... We turn around again, eye the guy, he gives us the Hard Eye back momentarily but turns the other way and cups the phone, now broadcasting to the back of the line but we can still hear: “What do I mean? I mean you like cock … You could have somebody up there right now. I mean somebody could be with you right now.” He’s not mad, more matter-of-fact about the prospect, enjoying the banter …

And suddenly, or so it seems to us, one of the dignified older African Americans who cheerfully (for the most part) man this godforsaken outpost of Civil Servicedom is calling out “Next customer!”, which would be Mamacita, who appears to snap out of it and grabs the carrier and hustles her brood to the counter, although still going on AT TOP VOLUME with her phone conversation, and then we’re summoned up and the dude behind us grows fainter: “Ah … Yeah … I’m just sayin’, I know you …”

4 comments:

Banjo Jones said...

"You talkin' to me?"

Marilynn said...

Oh, Lordy! Have you hit on nearly every one of the things that just grate against my soul in our society today! I love this post... must, must, must send its link to my brother in California. He'll ROFLHAO!! Thanks for your wonderful observation and writing skills. =)

Slampo said...

Thanks, Marilynn. And Banjo, I must be talkin' to you, 'cause I don't see anybody else around here ...

Vince said...

That post office is really the pitts! I stopped going there months ago. No waiting at the one just off of Weslynn and Bissonet. Small, but no waiting. Plus there is a handy devise so you can drop off small boxes without answering those stupid questions.
Heard the same thing in Vernal, Utah day before yesterday. Loud country folk, are you there, are you there? Mna take it outside with the stupid smokers!