Sunday, June 26, 2016


While driving up 122nd this morning, I pulled over for a fire truck shrieking past, as did the other cars ahead of me.  After it passed, I pulled back into the lane, and noticed someone crossing in the middle of the block, up ahead.  I assumed that it was someone taking advantage of all the cars pulling over, to cross, but not thinking of the speeding emergency vehicle. 

I was mentally shaking my head at this self-absorbed, small-minded stupidity as I slowly increased my speed.  I was expecting the person to walk quickly across the five lanes, and was surprised to need to brake a few moments later as I came right up to the man, still pottering across.  Then, just after he had passed the front of my car, and my foot had moved back to the gas, he bent and picked something up off the street, (I couldn't be sure, but it looked like a wadded up paper towel) and turned around to go back

I quickly slammed on the brake again, and he noticed me for the first time, and stopped, standing directly in front of me.  He looked through the windshield at me and I looked back at him.  He was tidily dressed, with very short hair, and had none of the obvious sequelae of mental illness or signs of living rough.  His clothes were older but very tidy and clean.  As we looked at one another, he raised one hand and gravely, solemnly, wagged a finger at me, while slowly shaking his head.  Bad, bad girl.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Heil Who, now?

On my drive just now, I saw a man, about my age, who caught my eye, looking as he did -- sort of intelligent and competent and probably amusing and interesting, and having the right sort of broad shoulders and large nose and wavy brown hair and all -- I was admiring him as he crossed the street in front of me. 

He had a "sleeve" on his left arm, though none on his right, and it was done all in one color in a darkish sort of blue-grey, fairly blurred, so that I couldn't tell what it was intended to represent -- until he passed me and I realized that the large symbol centered on his elbow was a swastika.
It really threw me.  I tend to expect that those who decorate their persons with the symbols of Nazi oppression will look like ignorant racist pricks, and so I will not be surprised to see the Waffen SS or the "88" or hakenkreuz on their idiot flesh.  But this guy looked right, he looked with-it, he looked like a smart, interesting person --  it flummoxed me.  I'm sort of at a loss.