Just when I started talking to crickets (hopefully to be posted about later) and thought I was the craziest guy around, Zed goes and ups the ante.
My brother and sister-in-law got me a gift certificate to the local exercise studio. I am not sure what else to call it. It is not a gym - you pay as you go and there are only classes like pilates, spinning, and this isometric/plyometric hell I have been putting myself through.
I stumbled (really) out of class across the street to the taco joint seeking protein and sugar. As I am holding myself up on the counter the cashier and the guy next to me are kind of giving me a look. So I toss out a casual explanation, "I hate those guys over at the workout studio." Gesturing with my thumb over my shoulder to indicate the place across the street. The guy asks me for clarification as to what place, so I explained with a little more detail. I ordered my tacos, filled my drink and sat down. The story should end there, but it doesn't.
Guy: Hey, what did you say the name of that place you worked out was?
Me: "FIT." It is right across the street...Oh crap, (noticing this guy was ripped) you're not a trainer there are you?
Guy: No, but thanks for the compliment.
Tacos came I sat down.
Me: (Walking to get closer.) I'm sorry, what?
Guy: Do you live around here?
Me: Oh, yeah. I actually live in town. (Hey, hey. This guy may be hitting on me! I may be putting out gaydar signals after all.)
Guy: I just moved back from California. I was engaged to a Mexican girl (relevant to him speaking Spanish to the cashier) but I called it off.
Me: Sorry to hear that. But I am sure it was for the best. Better now than later, right?
Guy: Do you want to sit down? (Oh he is so going to hit on me.)
Me: Sure. What the hell. (Cross "get hit on by a gay guy" off my list, and it is on to "spend a night in jail.")
Guy: My name is Zed. (I have, of course, changed his name.)
Me: Chris. Nice to meet you Ted.
Me: Sorry. Zed?
I have edited the body of the conversation for time. But I immediately became freaked out by his lack of eye contact. When he did look at me he had the deadest eyes I have ever seen. A mention of being on and off meds explained the glassed over eyes. An exchange of paramilitary histories explained his crew cut, but his interest in my Navy Whites makes me think he may still have been hitting on me. An anecdote of Zed walking to the White House and getting questioned for holding onto the fence initially struck me as odd to walk that damn far (7.71 mi on Mapquest) just to loiter and be a nuisance. Then it dawned on me that they have a substantial amount of voltage running through those bars. It probably did him some good, but I kept on eye on his spork from then out.
Zed: Do you know who you're voting for? (Crap! He is going to canvass me.)
Me: No not really.
Zed: You don't know which candidate or which party? Or both?
Me: Both. Every time I think I have my mind made up something changes.
Zed: Do you think white countries are better?
Me: You mean like Belarus or Cote d'Ivoire?*
Zed: Like Germany, Norway, or Sweden...or America.
Me: No, not really. (Involuntary eyebrow arch belies my inner monologue "What kind of racist nut are you?") I've traveled a bit and I think America is still the best country going. I mean, I know our education and health care systems are screwed up but it beats the hell out of living in a place where soldiers are walking the streets with machine guns twenty-four hours a day.
Zed finished his taco salad and got up.
Zed: Hey, it was nice meeting you. But I have to get going if that's OK?
Me: No problem. (Thank you, Jesus.)
Zed: Thanks for talking to me.
Me: Hey, it beats staring off into space by myself. (Plus, "Hello, blog-fodder!")
What the hell was that about? I finished shortly thereafter and got up to leave myself. And as I walked out into the night I caught my own reflection in the door and was reminded of my gleaming naked pate. Holy shit! He thought I was a fucking SKINHEAD!
Everybody sing with me now...
[Since I know you are wondering, the pic at the top of the post was the result of Googling "David Bowie Nazi" and that was picture number six. I tried "David Bowie brown shirt" and it came back with a brown David Bowie concert t-shirt! So I went with the naked Iman. Though I guess it does llok like he is trying to lick her knees.]
*My actual comment was "What do you mean?" But I thought of the Belarus (White Russia) joke on the way home. So I am giving myself credit for actually having said it. I added Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) while writing this.