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Wednesday: I’m reading outside the Tabor Center when a woman comes up and sits next to me, immediately retrieving her phone from a childish pink purse with her freckled, yellowed hands. There are 20 other spots to sit, but she chooses the one next to me, the only guy reading quietly in the plaza. She begins her telephone conversation by screaming into the receiver, “Where have you been? Where were you when I needed you?”
She goes on to explain to her tele-buddy that she’s started AA and she could really use the support of her friends during the 12 step process – she’s quit smoking too, she adds, as she lights a long and slender cigarette, some type reserved for aging secretary ragamuffins and teen gangsters – I think my cousin might have smoked the same ones when he stayed with us for a summer, it smells like burning vapor-rub.
Her hair is that type of napped blonde straggle reserved for boozing, TV-tray using, ex-junkie mothers who gave up on life long ago but continue on, viewing any slight accomplishment as a miracle of nature. It’s easy to see in her deep mascara eyes a slew of nights spent knee deep at the Brown Barrel pushing gin and tonics back like a Sumo attacking his foe, keeping them down only to save herself the embarrassment of another night cradled around the toilet. She’s still yelling into her phone, I’m not sure what her friend has done, but I’m beginning to feel sorry for this unseen “friend,” and for myself for not being able to concentrate on my copy of It’s Superman. She is promising her friend, and God presumptively, that she’s changed, she’s a new woman – but it’s obvious that she’s lying. I’d like to think she was drunk right there, it’s the only explanation I can think of for her actions.
Eavesdropping is a special skill that you gain after a little while – enough elevator conversations and you start feeling sorry for poor Janet in the mailroom after her husband left her, or the anger swells in your heart when you hear that Dave, the newest addition to Normal Last Name and Weird Last Name LLC has already been bumped up to a corner office, after all the years that Sheryl put in! It’s just because Mr. Head Attorney Man hates women after his wife cheated on him with that attractive guy from the band that played the company picnic, you know. -- Thorin Klosowski Thorin Klososki is a bike messenger here in Denver. This week he provides us with a few scenes from his work week.