Eavesdroppings

6 01 2011

I got on the train this morning and the first thing I heard was a woman talking to a blind man.  She was saying something like, “I don’t put on a dress and ask him, does this make me look fat, I ask him, how does this look, and if he says it looks too tight I say OK”.

Why do women do that to us?  Our bodies get out of shape.  We can’t all stay at that 15 year old physique all our lives and when that perfect slimness and optimal body fat content thing starts to go haywire on us we leave it to others to validate our unsightliness by putting them on the spot with unavoidable questions like, “how does this dress look?”

I don’t talk about anything but the dress.  She asks me, “how does this dress look?”, I talk about the colors I see or the cut of it, I’m not getting involved in any of the “I can see your fat rolls”, or “your kankles are showing”, discussion.  Leave that to the suicide squad.

Now that that’s off my chest…

I went to Karaoke last night.  Not something I recommend if you’re looking to broaden your cultural horizons or if you have any appreciation for real art and music.  But if you like to sit back and feel like a complete snob watching mediocrity fail, it’s a real good time.  I’ve done Karaoke, but when I do Karaoke I go balls out.  I’m not going to get up there and sing Alan Parson’s Project, get the arms waving back and for the Eye in the Sky.  It’s a good song for its time; some say a classic, but for Karaoke?  Who wants to go to all the trouble of getting out of the comfort of their personal surroundings and go watch some dude whose artistic inspiration starts and stops on commercial television?  And that’s about the time I start telling myself, “I’m such an ass.”

Karaokeists are just trying to have a good time, they’re playing around, their friends are laughing, it’s all part of camaraderie and good clean fun; it’s like playing house or having a tea party when you’re four years old.  When you see life through the lens I see life through it’s not that simple.

I see over in the corner of my eye this dude, obviously a dude, and my gaydar is pretty good because last year when the census takers knocked on my door I was given a voucher for a gaydar upgrade and I just had it installed last week, so it’s a guy.  And I don’t even know if this qualifies to be in the gaydar range of discussion, if I’m treading on some homophobia sacred ground of discussion or if I’m just being an ass again, but I’m saying to myself, that dude looks like a lesbian.  You know, he’s got the butch haircut, baby face, he’s kind of chubby, little bit of the man boob thing going on with a puca shell necklace, having a little too much fun sweatin’ to the oldies.  And he’s wearing the same clothes those chicks who are trying to look like dudes wear.  So I mention it to a friend of mine just to check and see if I’m really a total and complete ass or if it’s actually kind of funny, and she starts laughing.  I say yeah I feel bad for saying it out loud, or even thinking it, but look at the guy.  She validates me by saying yeah, you’re right, that’s pretty funny.

Then he starts slow dancing.  It’s not bad enough that it was Karaoke but they took a break and started playing slow songs to give us a little chance at romance, and Charlie Crooner gets on the mic.  It was like American Idol reject clips, but I’m trying to be good about the whole thing.  These people are having fun, no babies are being punched and no new diseases are being designed by our activities, it’s just good, clean, wholesome fun, right?

So This guy is slow dancing with some girl, she’s cute, no big deal, but the whole time I’m seeing this out of the corner of my eye I’m just laughing inside and I lean to my friend and said, “those two chicks are dancing with each other.”  Now, that’s not even funny, it’s nothing to laugh about, two chicks dancing together, no big deal.  But I’m sitting there feeling like such a pompous ass being so condescending to this bull crap music, trying to make it an uplifting and enjoyable time, finding joy in people lip syncing to the worst of the worst of the top forty from 25 years ago, as though they’re doing us a favor dragging us down memory lane with them.

I hated this crap then and you’re not making it any better for me.  It’s like putting miracle whip on a bologna sandwich.  It’s still bologna and it’s still miracle whip, sugar infused mayonnaise.  It’s like the nutrition of junk food for the soul.  And all I can do to keep myself entertained is think how much this poor, innocent, young man looks like he’s trying to fool us into thinking he’s a dude, when really already is.  And the tragedy that he looks like that is something I’m starting to feel guilt for, but then at the same time it’s the only thing keeping me lightly entertained, enough to be able to scrape a little joy off the bottom of this bucket of preservative packed soul junk food, then I look down and in front of me is a bowl of cheese puffs.

It was like a sign from the gods telling me this is where I’m supposed to be.  It’s cheesy and it’s full of fluff with no real substance but if you munch on them long enough you can learn to enjoy.  Somewhere safe, not going to find any trouble, certainly not going to stir up any shenanigans, and I begin to realize that I really like to rock the boat and if it’s not rocking I’m not comfortable.

Then I see lezbo boy again in the corner of my eye and it just hits me and I double over in a fit of laughter and I start clapping and giggling like a giddy little school girl at the silliness of it all and the whole time it’s so loud and there’s so much going on that nobody knows what I’m carrying on about and they all think I’m just joining in and having a good time with everyone crooning to the sounds of rock and roll pabulum.

Then somebody puts on ‘Give it Away’ by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  And I’m thinking OK, this is a song I can get behind, but he’s reading the lyrics, there’s no soul, no groove, no funk, and certainly to busting out of anything Chili Pepper style and my friends know this about me, that I’m a huge Chili Peppers fan so they’re like, go on out there man this is your song.  But what am I gonna do, go out there and do an Anthony Keidis impression with this guy who started the song?  That’s not cool, to go out there and show him up.  And then I’m back to thinking again, man I’m and ass for thinking that if went out there it would be showing him up, like what I could do would be some ‘in your face’ to his effort at entertaining us.  It’s not a basketball tournament.  So I just sat back and watched it unfold.

Karaoke is a weird thing, it makes me feel squirmy.  I’m such a critic and such a snob when it comes to any sort of art form.  I like to express myself but there are so many people who do it in such better ways than I could with the mediums available, but so often if I had the skill that they had I would do it in such a different way.  And that’s why I wish I could express my emotions through a medium I had complete mastery over.  So it’s time to start practicing again, because it’s time to express things in the right way.

I think it’s important that we all create something of beauty, that we work hard to express what we find colorful and lovely and beautiful around us, to reproduce what we feel; what evokes emotion within us, in one form or another for others to respond to, to bring them life and inspiration and to bring to life that inner spirit that creates and loves what is intangible and beautiful about art and the greatness that surrounds us, that which we all want to be a part of, where we can find common ground and build together.

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