Tuesday, July 08, 2008

In Which I Attract The Crazy

In the last two weeks, every time I go to my coffee shop around the corner, I have been affronted by The Crazy. As I type this, a portly middleaged man in a striped polo shirt, sailor's hat, and sweatpants is singing and staring intensely at me. I'm pretending not to speak English, which he isn't really buying.

He's very chatty, and wants to know if I know "The Artist." I shake my head (minimal contact is key here). Do I know "The Potter"? "The Chemist"? Probably not- they are Canadians, and can't come back here because of their thumbs. I didn't ask about the thumbs, despite the obvious comedic potential.

Here is my theory: Crazy people talk to (a) social workers, (b) lawyers, (c) Court-appointed psychologists, and (d) me, for reasons that are not immediately clear. In a suit, I look like one or more of the above, and the normally challenging crazy-person problem is exacerbated. It is troubling.

1. Musical Crazy: Musical Crazy showed up at Communist Coffee (ironically, part of an in-city chain) first, which is where I am now, a little farther from my apartment, but with internet. It is called Communist Coffee because the restrooms/baked good selection look like something from the Stalin era, and people are constantly in there plotting revolution. When I first saw him, he was run-of-the-mill, homeless crazy: shirtless, wearing a fedora, mardi-gras beads, and khaki shorts, singing to himself…a regular little crazy person groove session. Then he showed up at Free Love Coffee (the same pseudo-chain as Communist Coffee, but a much more snuggly vibe), almost 2 miles away, and I became concerned. Am I being stalked by a musical homeless man?

No. I am not.

So, I was sitting in Free Love Coffee about 2 weeks ago, in my suit, after work, puttering away on my write-on entry (VOMIT LAW SCHOOL STEALS YOUR SUMMER), and Musical Crazy shows up, to sit in a corner and hum to himself. I responded by putting in my ipod headphones (music? No. I can’t study with music. I also can’t study with the risk of interacting with The Crazy), but as I was packing up, he cornered me.

The Great MC: I didn’t want to bother you while you were working. I am a DJ. You looked busy.
Me: Hm.
The Great MC: I am a DJ! I have a show coming up. You will like it.
Me: Hm.
The Great MC: I am a DJ! It is for a veteran. You’re patriotic, right? Here’s a flyer. I am DJ-ing.
Me: Thanks (crumple in bag…homeless people have photocopiers!?!?)
The Great MC: Anyway. It will be fun! I am a DJ! You should go!
Me: Maybe. BYE!

Since I know you’re dying to know: I got to review the flyer, and business card. The event he is DJing is something nondescript- war memorial or something. His “card” is the real treasure. It informs the (reluctant) reader that he is a DJ (no. Really?) for the show “Norwegian Blood”- not blood-like-heritage, blood-like-killed-you-with-Mardi-Gras-beads. He’s got a charming DJ name too- something along the lines of Vinnie “The Music Mixer Master” Vronsky. I didn’t go to the show, but now I’m confused. Do DJ’s get shoes? This is a whole new light on radio for me.

2. Professor Crazy McIckyPants: So, the next time I went to Free Love Coffee, I tucked myself away in the corner (key benefits- back is protected. 2 easy exits. Comfy couch.) A normal looking guy in a suit came in and sat across from me as I was desperately trying to finish my write-on (see above re: law school, summer).

Professor Crazy McIckyPants: Excuse me, miss. Is there a password for the internet here?
Me (stupidly helpful): No, actually, there is no internet here. But I think there’s internet down the street, at Starbucks.
PCMP: Oh, I’m not from around here. I’m just here for a job interview.
Me (typing furiously away): Oh? Me either. Good luck with that.
PCMP: Well. I used to be from here. But not anymore (cue long drawn out story re: academic history, attaining PhD (in social graces? Doubtful.), working as a professor Somewhere I Don't Care About, trying to get a position in town, interview today, blah blah blah).
Me (Very Serious And Academic Face, no response)
PCMP: (And on. And on. And on.)

20 minutes later, I pack up to go to work, and, much to my surprise and dismay, Professor Crazy McIcky Pants is sitting much too close to me on the couch. He may have flown there, or sprung up using crazy icky voodoo (note to self: the downfall of corners is that the crazy, once it spots you, can trap you).

PCMP: Oh! You’re leaving already!!
Me: Yes. I work.
PCMP: We should have lunch.
Me: No, I work.
PCMP: Here’s my number! I will give it to you, and we can have lunch.
Me: No, probably not.
PCMP: Bye! Call me!
Me (dead dash to door)

Upon opening the note at work, I found that PCMP had written his number and a smiley face “We should have lunch!” Yes. You mentioned that. Crazy is apparently also repetitive. Anyway, we laughed about it at work, until the next time I went back to Free Love Coffee, when I walked in the door and spotted him on a very busy morning. I stood and line and pretended not to see him, but crazy is not so easily deflected.

PCMP (taps me on the shoulder): Hi! I got the job!
Me: Oh. Hi. Good.
PCMP: Want to have lunch?
Me: No. Not really. (quick spin around and focus very closely on the man making my latte)
PCMP: I'm a professor! It would be fun!
Me: You're 40. No.
PCMP: You don't eat lunch? I like lunch.
Refreshing Normal Middle Aged Man Next to Me: hee hee hee.

Ok fine. Just creepy, not crazy, perhaps. Which leads us to…

3. Crazy with a Craft! While I was focusing on sending PleaseFuckOffAndDie vibes at my middle-aged professor paramour (HELLO SIR YOU ARE LIKE FIFTY. GROSS. NO NO NO NO.) and considering striking up conversation with the normal-looking guy next to me, as a cover, a nice little old man toddled up.

Me (in my head): Hooray! A pleasant little old man! Surely, the crazy will not follow me here!
The Fates: Hahahha. Sucker!
Little old man (beckons): You look……….marriageable. Here’s my card. I play piano at weddings! (little old man toddles off)
Refreshingly Normal Middle Aged Man: HAHAHAHAHA. Big day for you, huh?
Me: I want to go home.


myterranullius said...



no634 said...

LOL. I will never read your blog again in the library: I just got the filthiest look from the guy next to me because I was cracking up.

And also, question, this dude with a PhD is now working at a coffee shop?

ImNobody said...

No, his royal icky-pants was just...lurking. The coffee shop employees are much more tattooed, and less cringe-inducing.

All rights reserved to my snotty and generally self-deprecating writing. And if your comments bother me, I'll delete them. That's right, pumpkin.
...How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a Frog—
To tell one's name—the livelong June—
To an admiring Bog!
-- Emily Dickinson