writest

15 Nov

The theme last week on my friend Josh’s blog was “fashion” and he and his co-blogger (I don’t know what words to use on the internet) Meg let me submit something late. So, if you’re interested, read a thing I wrote about Polyvore and heroin and what I later learned was an MGMT lyric. There’s a ton of other awesome posts from a variety of writers on a variety of topics on the site, too.

Also, in honor of the fourth Scratchpad reading tomorrow (which you should totally go to), and because I feel like it, here’s one of the pieces I read back in August (I am putting it “after the jump” because it involves a crazy person yelling very rude things):

I see him from a block away, and I can tell he’s schizophrenic from the way he’s standing– blue legginged legs splayed unnaturally far apart, fists shoved deep into the the pockets of his oversized coat as he rocks from foot to foot. My pharmacy job has given me health benefits, $12.69 an hour, and the ability to diagnose the unmedicated from a distance.

I vow to look straight ahead as I pass him crossing Franklin Arterial, but he scampers up next to me, matching my stride. My friends say I’m too nice, that I value politeness more than personal safety. This time, I tell myself, I’m not going to make eye contact. This time, I will ignore him.

“I dyed my hair white! Orange and white! It’s short but it does the trick!” he spits the words out, and I turn to look at him, breaking my promise to myself. He’s wearing two giant coats, and a small stuffed creature, maybe a cat toy, hangs from the hood of the outer coat.

“Oh,” I say.

“FUCK YOU, JEW!” he screams in my face. Of course. Of course it’s eight in the morning and some guy with a cat toy attached to his head is shouting at me. I start to say something along the lines of, “but I’m not Jewish,” then quickly realize that of all the things that are just outrageously wrong with the situation, his confusion about my religion is probably the least important. So I just keep walking.

“I did my tie dyes, wanna see?” he asks me. No, I do not want to see whatever you have hiding in your two filthy coats, you pantsless racist. I tell him I’m in a hurry, and I’m walking as fast as I can, but it’s raining and I know if I run I’ll slip and fall.

He pulls off his hood to reveal a true haircut atrocity of buzzcut white islands in a sea of greasy orange mats. “I’m a psychic, you know, channeling Hitler Youth. I saw this guy, he was from Poland, he had his medals on his jacket and a cross woven from tobacco and…”

I’m just looking straight ahead now, trying to put up with him until I can lose him in Monument Square. If Sena’s at Zarra’s, she can protect me…

“HITLER YOUTH! I’m a German, from Hamburg! Fuck you, Jew!”

“That’s… really creepy and racist,” I hear myself say. I am the worst at ignoring people.

“No! We were just misunderstood!” he says as I practically run into traffic trying to cross the street. I hear him holler “PEARL HARBOR!” as I make my escape.

I walk fast, head down, under the scaffolding on the other side of the street. Just when I think I’ve finally lost him, he comes running across the street, screaming again.

“I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT I FORGOT! I CAN’T– REMEMBER– WHAT I FORGOT!”

Of course.

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