Wednesday, June 18, 2003

It's a Zackless day for Linda-- he celebrated Father's day with his natural father, so this is the make-up day for his stepdad, Tim-- and I am resolved to make the best of it. What this means, exactly, I do not know anymore. I had hoped to go on a nice, long bike ride, revelling in whatever music escorted me, but it's raining now. As appealling as the sweet soleful solitude of a ride through the light rain is to me, it may at any point turn heavier, and the whole idea becomes hopelessly impractical. And anyway, unlike yesterday, I am not without things to say, I think. I think that today I do not need the momentum to move me.

I've decided that I do not like this CD- the second...or maybe first...the blue one in the pair from Ani's "So Much Shouting, So Much laughter" on random. Other things I've decided about this CD: If I thought I could get Casey into music with rather feminist undertones-- or, rather, despite feminist undertones-- this is the CD I would push him into....or, rather, pull, as I am already in it. But there will be no pulling or pushing Casey into anything, I suspect. And I do not know where I was going with that. Also-- that was the only other thing I had decided about that CD. The pluralization of the word "thing" in "Other things I've decided about this CD" was an intentional deception on my part. I lied to you. I do that.

Bad me.

I'm listening to...uhm, the "Letter to John (Insert some latin last name vaguely reminiscent of 'Leguizamo' here)" half of a track on this CD divided between two songs...or, rather, I was when I started this plane wreck of a sentence. Now it's "Grey", which I must have quoted on this site multiple times before. This song has a feeling I associate with it that's somewhat akin to anguish, but also closely related to relaxation. I know it's not something I only get with this song, but it's hard to define. Maybe it's resignation...maybe you should just listen to it. If you download it, be sure to get the version off of this album. "So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter," not "Reckoning". Though there's a song called Reckoning, which I highly recommend.

What a shitty paragraph. Seriously, who reads this garbage?

I need to include something of value-- I won't go back to updating as often as I used to if I'm going to insult myself this way. This, for sure, isn't my worst post, but it's a far cry from my best...which, without having the slightest idea of what it might have been, I suspect was deleted with the nine that were. My desire for quality is driven, largely, from the fact that I've replaced my hit counter on the site. I got twelve hits yesterday alone...four or five were probably from me, recalibrating and such, but I am shocked to know that I got seven or eight non-me hits in one day, considering how rarely I've been updated. I had assumed that all the people who once checked daily or weekly or even just monthly to see if there was anything new had long ago given up on me. I'm surprised to find that the fresh new start I had planned to make isn't all that fresh and new-- my old followers seem to be coming through for me.

A new hook, too, possibly. One of my hits yesterday was from someone on google who typed in the search "very bored." Someone from the United Kingdom- I'm somewhat popular around there, as are quite a few people connected through links- Jeff, Emily and I to my knowledge. Maybe, just maybe, I made their favorites menu, and they will be back. I shall have to keep track. Stupid hit counter. Casting it's spell all over again.

AHHH! Still nothing interesting.

OH! Okay, I shall tell the story of what bizarre happenings found me this Sunday. For this retelling, I take off my headphones-- this may well be the most interesting thing I have to relate for years to come, I want to be sure I get this perfect. Be assured-- this is a true story. If you do not believe me, you may contact Jenn.

It started Father's day, when Jenn and I both found ourselves empty-handed in the department of obligatory gifts for the men who influenced us most in our childhoods-- I remembered, shortly, that Jim Henson was dead anyway, but Jenn still wanted to get her Dad something, so I followed suit. After buying them their gifts, Jenn dragged me into Goodwill, where she immediately started scouting out T-Shirts. Already having my share of protein-stained men's jeans and shirts from company functions and summer camps I never attented, I amused myself by browsing through the yearly surge of slightly damaged (or protein-stained) prom dresses that pours in every june.

Now, this is the part where things get kinda weird. Yessir, Goodwill may be a Bargain Hunter's paradise, but even an old pro like me got more than I bargained for this time around.

I'm feeling the cloth of a white princess-style dress when I hear someone in my peripheal vision greet me. "Hi..." Now, try hard to picture it, please, this will be very important later if you're to get the full effect of this story. A man, about 5'5", medium build, tan skin, stubbles on his face. About thirty years of age. Straight, dark brown hair that was style short, but needed to be cut, a little mussed on his head. He is wearing, on this comparitively hot day, a full tweed suit, complete with a red bow tie. He is swinging a blue parcel of some sort- something in between a purse and a lunchbox, it was hard to tell- from arms that he holds just slightly too far from his body for it to be normal. This, along with the bright, sunny smile on his face, the slight impediment of his speech, and the stereotypically perfect setting of Goodwill quickly led me to the conclusion that he wasn't quite all there. Got it? Good.

Remember how he said "Hi?" We're going to go back. Because "Hi" wasn't it's own sentence. Not at all. "Hi" was the first word, and it's imperitive that you understand that he said this all at once, so we're going to start from just before the "Hi." He walks up to me and he says,

"Hi, I like to wear dresses sometimes."

The comma doesn't really do it justice. It probably shouldn't be there. It's there because I don't like the way it looks otherwise, but there wasn't a full comma in the way he spoke it. Maybe half a comma. Try to imagine half a comma in there. Suffice to say, the man said "Hi" followed directly by "I like to wear dresses sometimes."

I am going to do my best at accurately reporting what my responses were. I may fuck up a little, though, you see, because I wasn't paying much attention to me at this point. "Oh..." I think I said. Sounds right.

"That's a pretty one, huh?" He was referring to the white princess-style gown still in my hands.
"Yes, it's very pretty."
"Do you think it would look pretty on me?"

Maybe, just maybe somewhere there's a book on subjects like this. Maybe-- just maybe-- there's a place where you can look up the protocol for this kind of situation. Maybe, just maybe, there was a right thing to say at that point. But if that book, with that protocol, containing that right thing exists, there weren't nearly enough copies circulating to meet my needs at that moment. So I did what I supposed any blue-blooded American girl would do:

"Yes, I guess it would look very pretty on you."

When he picked up the garment and held it up to him-- up, juxtaposed against his little tweed suit and his little red bow tie-- I started to get the feeling that I might not be able to handle the entire situation with such tact. You must imagine that this whole ordeal was very difficult for me, what with feeling the social obligation to keep a straight face. This social obligation continued to rub against my willpower like so much sandpaper on and exposed nerve when he replaced that dress and picked up another-- short, this time, an 80's get up covered with blue and black sequins in a tiny checkboard pattern and huge, teal ruffles at the bottom and on the straps. He held this one up against him and again asked for my approval: "How about this one? Would I look pretty in this?"

Not wanting to be repetitive, I replied, "Yes, yes, that one would go very nicely with your...complexion." And, hey, it was true enough.

"I think it's too small," he said, and began to comb through the other gowns on the rack. "Help me find a pretty one to try on."

Alert! Alert! Alert! I can only assume that the majority of you have not been in a situation such as this one, but you should know-- when a mentally challenged transvestite asks you to help him find a protein-stained prom dress to add his own stains to, your mind crashes like a Lisbon High School library computer. I should have excused myself. I should have faked having to go to the bathroom, or seeing somebody I knew, or having a fucking seizure, I should have just gotten the hell out of there. But I wasn't working with many remaining system resources; the best I could come up with was, "But...I don't know your size." And you'd think, maybe that would trip up a retarded cross-dresser. Maybe a guy walking through goodwill with a purse-lunch box in a tweed suit on a hot day would be slowed down by that one. But for a unabashedly dumb social outcast, he was a cagey one. "It's medium."

Game. Set. Match.

So I picked up a couple dresses for him. "Those are too thin" he said to all of the body-hugging ones. I wouldn't have expected a man so entirely unaware of his surroundings to be aware of the bulging of his squared hips in a tight dress, but then he'd already caught me off guard with the "medium" thing. I suggested a few more dresses, but he finally returned to the white princess gown. "I think this one's the prettiest." I've cut out a lot of the dialogue in this for the sake of being concise, but I must stress, he used the word "pretty" at least 20 times. "Should I try this one on?"
Warning: System Resources Dangerously low "Uhhhh..."
"I think I'm gonna try it on." Damn it. Oh well, if I hadn't managed to discourage the poor man, at least I was afforded the oppurtunity to make my escape. Or so I thought.
"Will you stay out here to zip up the back for me? And tell me if it looks pretty?"

I can't remember what I said. It isn't important, either, because, by now, you've all guessed. You all know damn well by now that, a few minutes later, after a unexpectedly casual Goodwill employee unlocked the dressing room for the 30-year-old man holding the garishly large, teenaged girl's dress, I was standing outside of that dressing room, waiting there, waiting to zip it up for him.

At this point, I had managed to spot Jenn, as I'd been attempting to do all along. I signalled for her to come over, but she remained firmly stationed, having witnessed the event from across the store. She motioned back for me to come to her, and I shrugged in reply. She mouthed to me: "COME OVER HERE."
I mouthed back: "I CAN'T. I HAVE TO ZIP UP THIS GUY'S DRESS." I don't believe she understood, exactly, but Jenn and I have known each other a long time. She may not have known what, precisely, was going on, but she must have already been laughing on the inside.

And then, the moment we've all been waiting for-- the door behind me opened. And he was standing there, my special new friend, looking...well, just as pretty as can be. And, yes, he was wearing that big white gown. Inside out.

" look...pretty."

I'd like to believe I said it with that amount of hesitation. In actuality, it probably felt somehow natural by then. And when he waddled over to me, taking great care that he didn't step on the ends of his skirt, and turned to reveal his un-zipped, un-laced back and the top of his black boxer-briefs, the thought that occured to me as though it was nothing was, "Hmmm, he doesn't have a half-bad body." He was, however, mistaken in saying that medium was his size: the dress would not zip hardly at all, so I did the best I could to haphazardly lace up the back, realizing that precision, at this point, was not a priority.

"I can't get it all the way," I told him, "It doesn't quite fit."
"Oh." He looked down at himself, picked up his big, fluffy, inside-out skirt and swooshed it around him. "You really think I look pretty."
"Oh, yes."
"Would I lie to you?" I guess the fun in-store girl talk that had transpired between us gave me some amount of undeserved credibility, because he seemed satisfied with this. "Do you think I should walk around the store like this?"
Somehow, heroically, I managed to surpress that. "No, no, I don't think so. You look so nice right there in the dressing room. Why don't you just look at yourself in the mirror?" He turned and admired himself for a bit, and I saw my oppurtunity. "Okay, I'm going to shut the door for you, so you can get dressed. And I'm going to go back to my friend, okay?"
"Okay." He said, hesistantly, and reached to shake my hand. I extended my hand, and he immediately brought it to his lips and planted a series of kisses on it. "I like you."
"I like you, too. I'm gonna go now."

I left him in the dressing room, and I met Jenn over near the worthless knick-knacks they sell at the back of the store. I immediately let out the rush of laughter that had gathered at the back of my throat, and she giggled a little but hushed me. I went to explain myself, but she hushed me repeatedly, wanting to wait until we left the store, fearing that perhaps he had traded the majority of his intellect for a super sense of hearing. We hurried to the register, where the perpetually angry greek(ish) woman rang up Jenn's items all too slowly. From across the store, I heard the familiar voice loudly declaring to another customer: "THAT GIRL OVER THERE LIKES ME IN THIS DRESS!" The cashier shot me a strange glance and I reciporcated: for all she knew, he was ranting crazily; for all the customer knew, he was referring to that twisted cashier.
Up until he approached us, of course. Jenn refused to turn around, as he took my hand again, and placed another kiss on it. "I like you. Will you be my girlfriend?"
"I can't," I stammered, trying to save face in front of the line. I waived my ringed finger in front of him. "I'm engaged."
"I mean my friend, friend. We'll talk and stuff."
"Uh, maybe, but my friend's leaving now, I have to go." Jenn had started to walk towards the door.
"We could have conversations." He said. I was surprised he hadn't said "pretty conversations."
"Well sure. Are you here a lot?" I said, trying to avoid being forced to give him a fake phone number. "I'm here a lot."
"I'm here a bunch, too." He said. "Maybe I'll see you sometime."
"Maybe you will." I smiled, making the mental note to avoid Goodwill in the near future. "Goodbye!"
"Goodbye!" He replied, and Jenn and I rushed into the parking lot. And that was the end of it.

That's all there is. There ain't no more. Until I meet that retarded transevestite once more. And until that does happen, I shall have to continue using Ani for my inspiration, because I seriously doubt my life will be littered with things that interesting. I don't think I could handle it if it was.

My name is Linda, I like to wear dresses sometimes. On with it.