And I like it a lot.
The big thing I need to write is of course about my identity, and how it feels to be Penelope Cruz on the inside and “posh Glaswegian” on the outside.
Threads would include my father outing himself as Spanish in his heart and not, gasp, Sicilian; being told by a bunch of Brazilian men I look like Kate Middleton; getting caught up in some #banbossy moments at work; cultural stereotypes; ethno-tourism; almost being born in Bogota (but not quite); Shakira; studying French, not Spanish, in school; “that which you displace only comes back to haunt you” as said by my Austrian undergraduate thesis advisor; the “Mexichicks” from high school and college and that short story I wrote when I was 19 where I described their attire, in a way that still fascinates me; selecting the shade with which to dye one’s hair; sunscreen; the embarrassment of spelling my anglo name aloud to the nice guy at Starbucks on Gran Via; “Eat Pray Love” as a concept; and pretty much all of this.
But now? Now I do the PowerPoint.
There is a man you see out of your left eye’s peripheral vision as you exit the Q train at 14th Street from adjacent doors. The height, the hair. You clock them. The tote bag. Ugh. Not another tote bag.
The man works on your building. On your floor, to be precise. You know his name. You met in the elevator. You relate to his Brooklynness.
Ugh. You relate to his Brooklynness.
There is a man, except he is a boy. He is serious. He is a Pisces? He must be another goddamn Pisces.
You find him. Another man with a truly un-googleable name. You find a bio. A college. A “several bands,” “enjoys playing in.”
You find a band. The band’s name is a reference to technology gone awry.
Because, of course.
But before you google this man, who isn’t that much younger, not really, you are standing on the platform between the recently departed Q train and the not-yet-arrived N train. You know he’s there, you know he knows who you are, and sees you, and you stand there and play dumb and just drink it all in.
You know he sees you because there has been a lot of seeing, and noticing, and looking, but not off campus.
You put on Wild Tchopitoulas. You apply Rosebud Salve, Mint, to your lips, with your right ring finger. You think, ugh, tote bag. And the N train arrives, and the doors open between you, and you wonder when eye contact will be exchanged.
Not another Pisces.
Not another tote bag.
Still. You play along. You’re just So Wrapped Up in Listening To Your Music. The station arrives. You exit. You, the two of you, walk up the staircase feet away from one another.
He makes a run for it on Broadway in front of a taxi. You do too.
Then you cross the street. Where’s he going? You’re (actively) not paying attention. You hop up onto the curb. You don’t sense the shadow again until you turn to smile at a passing Shiba Inu on the office block. He’s there.
You reach the building first. You chat with the doorman. Someone enters. Another person enters. Another person enters. You’re chatting with the doorman. The elevator line is long. But there he is. Here comes the stubble. The tote bag. The hair.
You are standing in the elevator, side-by-side. There is still no eye contact. There is a chat with someone else. The electrons stand on end. And yet. The air slowly leaks from the balloon. The person you know better, with whom you are talking, demands your attention. There is no, “Did I see you on the Q train?” There is no, “Romance is likewise strange but potentially emancipating if you care not for convention.” There is sadtrombone.wav, putting your bag down, reloading, walking to the kitchen, Maybe The Kitchen!, except, no, no kitchen.
The man does not enter the kitchen.
“Watch out for power-trippers and dipsomaniacs in work/biz realms. They’re deluded and angry.”
"This is a “gloves off” moment. Situations demand that you express your power and personal Awesome. Nothing is served by you playing small or dimming your aura so as not to freak others or even yourself out. Don’t let old demons keep you dull or broke.”