Monday, May 28, 2018

The Chiffon Trenches

There is an exquisite kind of misery in the rich shops of Manhattan. Everyone seems to be on the verge of tears, like they're going to be set off if the cucumber water isn't the right temperature. It wasn't my intention to observe this on Memorial Day, but I was just wandering around when I suddenly felt totally invisible.

If you've ever been invisible-ized you know that creeping sensation. The links fade, you lose all eye contact or sense of acknowledgement in a public space. The human wifi goes out and you're trying to pick up a faint signal. The pinwheel spins and spins and you can see all the available connections in a neighborhood but you don't have any of the passwords. So I went without the connection. There's a freedom to not being on anybody's wavelength. No one was rude to me, but rudeness would have to acknowledge existence and since I was invisible there was no person to be rude toward.

I watched the fussiness, the exasperation, the gourmet indignation of the patrons. If anger is for the masses this was the ire of the few. Aristocratic ire! Poor people's anger is like ketchup: you can spread it on anything. It's loud, filled with chemicals, and tangy. It drowns out other stuff. You can dunk your fries in poor people's anger. You smother your burger in it. That cheap Ketchup taste is like acidic neon red globs. When I think of poor people's anger I think of those little ketchup packets kids crush on the sidewalk. *SPLAT*

But this ire was so fine, like panne cotta and gelato with a tiny spoon, like the carmelized candy surface of creme brulee. And the gourmet disdain was directed at everyone: their kids, the shops, other rich ppl, the world itself seemed to be frustrating their quest to eschew all irritation and remain eternally unbothered. I didn't want to get in the way of this ire. I stayed back in the shadows.

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