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Monday, July 20, 2009

we're stopped at a traffic light. i watch as a girl walks to middle of a patch of sunlight next to the road, and starts taking her clothes off (!). she wriggles out of her pants, pulls off her sweat shirt and tshirt, and revelas a teeny tiny bikini. then, just as you please, she casually takes out a book, flops down on the grass, and then, of all things, starts to study (!).

by the time the light changes and we drive off, i am a little awed, a little scandalized, and mostly feeling fat and very very covered.

i'm so used to being polite and smiley, i automatically wave a thank you to the car that stops as i pass it on the zebra crossing. the man stops, puts the car in park, rolls down the window, says something terribly sleazy, and whistles (like in the comic books) for the next 20 unbearable seconds it takes me to reach the end of the street. i hope no one else notices, but i am the only one jay walking and the crowd on both sides watches me walk the guantlet in indifferent amusement.

we're in a bus in a meaner city, i'm with my mother and her friend who is baby sitting us today. a man asks "hey are those real diamonds on your sunglasses?". my good old city girl reflex screams that the man wants to rob me, so i politely but firmly say "no no" and tense for combat. even when he says "whachu doin later tonight?" i'm still poised for pepper spraying him, and very honestly say "i'm with my mother right there" and there is ami beaming oblivious to our interchange in all her mommy-esque glory. his jaw drops slightly, looks at me and thats when i realize he was trying for witty repartee and not telling me to hand over my wallet.

it takes me two stops more before i see the humor in that foiled conversation.