Friday, February 04, 2005

The Velvet Hammer

I remember a flight to Oregon for a vendor meeting last year. Some things are just hard to forget.

I was early to the airport and was sitting inside the security check-in. A United Airline plane was just pushed out from the gate. A towman in dark blue shorts and light blue shirt had disconnected the yellow tongue of the squat truck to release the plane.

I was sitting at the window taking it all in, with my feet up on the stainless steel windowsill. I had a "velvet hammer" sitting to my left. It�s a coffee drink with nutmeg that I bought from a transvestite tending an espresso bar. At least I think that�s what he was.

He had painted nails, earrings, lipstick, and crayon black arches for his eyebrows. I guess he drew them on because the eyebrows he used to have, the hairy kind, he had completely shaved off. His name was Curtis. He wasn�t even friendly. Actually he looked sad, maybe lost. He didn't really look at me when he asked for my order, just kind of through me.

But his looks were so bizarre that I had to remind myself NOT to stare. It�s hard work for my mind to figure out what kind of coffee drink I want AND figure out why this person doesn�t look like a man or a woman. It doesn't look like anything I can recognize.

The mind looks for patterns and my mind wasn�t finding one.

Of course life is bizarre, the more bizarre it gets, the more interesting it is. The only way to approach it is to make yourself some popcorn and enjoy the show.