Thursday, April 06, 2006

A message from the Lord...

I was walking to downtown yesterday when I saw something unusual. A youngish woman, rather normal looking, was about a hundred feet away and approaching me. In her hand, she held what looked to be a handful of tissues. I watched her throw them to the ground and hurry on, and it was this that initially called my attention to her. A litterbug, I thought. If I was one of those people who actually gave a shit, I would have scolded her. Instead, I just quietly disapproved as I came closer and closer to her.

As I could see her more clearly, it seemed that there was something wrong with her. Her eyes were darting back and forth; her face was drawn into an intense, don’t-fuck-with-me frown. That part of town, I knew, was crowded with group homes and institutions–I figured her as mentally ill and decided to give her a wide berth. I work with the mentally ill, so they don’t frighten me; nevertheless, I know it’s usually best to give them a lot of space when they’re out on the streets and having a bad day. I was just about to sidle over to the far edge of the sidewalk to let her pass when she came to a dead stop in front of me.

I was still about twenty feet away. I watched her pull a wad of paper towels out of her jacket pocket. After giving me a fierce glare, she spun around so that her back was to me. I started walking slower then, so as to give myself time to flee if she suddenly attacked or something. She didn’t have any interest in me, though, she was busy stuffing the paper towels down the front of her pants. Since she was facing the other way, I couldn’t see it her doing it, but from the way her hands were moving it was pretty obvious. I almost crossed to the other side of the road. It seems to me that if a fellow pedestrian needs to stick something down their pants on a busy street at five in the evening, one should give them the appropriate space and privacy to do it.

She whirled back around before I could do this, however. Soon she was marching right at me, a little corner of paper towel sticking up from under the waist of her jeans. She looked ready to bite my head off. She was clearly in an unpleasant mood. I was more than a little relieved when she brushed past me and continued on down the sidewalk. As I walked, I glanced down at the ground and saw the wad of tissue she had thrown away earlier. It had bloodstains all over it.

From this, I deduced that this poor woman was menstruating and did not have a tampon or sanitary pad (or, in fact, even a bathroom) handy. Now, some of you may recall a previous post here where I pondered an issue my dear friend Mel had raised–--that of men having tampons on hand for the convenience and comfort of women in their life. At first I was vehemently opposed to this sort of thing, feeling that women would misinterpret my devotion to their convenience and comfort as something sinister and filthy. However, my commentors (who are, by the way, the most brilliant and lovely commenters anywhere on the internet) gradually wore down my resistance and convinced me of the error of my ways. And, if you’ll forgive me for getting all religious on you, I can’t help but think that the woman I saw on the street yesterday was put there by God to hammer this lesson home.

What was God trying to tell me?, I can hear you asking. He was saying that I should always listen to Mel, because Mel is always right. As a mere mortal, I cannot argue with a dictate from the Lord, but I must say it worries me a little. Because not too long after I got home from downtown, I spoke with Mel on the phone and she commanded me to go get a pedicure. This will, apparently, help me get over my “feet issues” and make it so my toes are less hideous when it’s time for the inevitable summer beach parties. Obviously, I feel I must obey. But where does one go to get themselves pedicure in this town? Does anyone have any recommendations? I’m at a loss here.

And I know I better get to it quickly, otherwise a lightning bolt will come out of the sky and strike me down where I stand.