for hallucinations, geriatric fist-fights and public nudity please click here… (03/08)

June 1st, 2010 Comments Off

all this time i thought it had been the malaria pills/jetlag/hooting/the overall “don’t go out  the men with machetes are out there” combo that had lead to sleepless nights in kenya.  now  i have another possibility to add to the list of culprits.  there it was.  it was so tiny amongst the blue tylenol p.m., chalky white exedrin, and amber gel caps (i’m almost positive are for flu like symptoms).   the last little baby blue sleeping pill given to me by a surgeon in nairobi.  so i took it…and low and behold not only did i NOT sleep through the night but every time i woke up something different was happening in my room. i felt like i was the sole audience member of some brechtian experimental theater.  where the cast of characters infiltrated my bedroom and paraded around nonsensically as i was left to decipher the greater meaning.  turns out there wasn’t one.    the first time i woke up completely groggy and saw a man in a white t-shirt and jeans fiddling with the phone jack at the foot of my bed.  i remember thinking, “of course, they come to fix the internet when i’m sleeping…typical,” but all i said was, “hola.”   as soon as i said it out loud i  realized he wasn’t actually there.  i always knew i was a friendly gal when intoxicated but apparently it turns out that to  breakers and enterers and other figments of my drugged imagination i am down right pleasant in the most intercontinental way.    p.s. my internet is still not fixed.

so it happened…i was involved in my first buenos aires street fight.  like most street fights blood was shed but the insults were thrown much faster then the punches and the shoe that ended up in the middle of the street was orthopedic.  i was walking home wondering when the last time was i had heard a song that just played (skate country…circa 1986 most likely).  i came across 3 septuagenarians having a heated conversation.  i thought the situation was a little “off”  but then i recalled two days earlier seeing an elderly man and a man who could have easily been his father shouting on a sidewalk.  i was sitting outside at a cafe and no one seemed to notice as they became more and more agitated…except the police officer that escorted the older of the elderly inside.  with that as a reference i moved on…a slight smirk at the disturbed state of  geriatric men in buenos aires. (i’d like to insert here that i heard in a recent study male pattern baldness is related to high levels of testosterone.  there is a lot of thinning hair in argentina.  just thought i’d mention it).   i was 1/2 a block a way when the yelling stopped and  i heard a thud.  i went back and they were in the gutter.  not even rolling around just wrapped  tightly around each other.  i guess they were just willing the other one to die …or not able to get up on their own.   i yelled, “hey”  (very helpful huh?)  and stomped my foot by their heads as no one came over.  i was then joined by a man who pulled them apart to reveal the thud  had been the sound of a head making contact with the curb.  one man was left with a nasty gash on his wrinkled forehead.   then 3 tiny women  marched out of the apartment building behind me… each with an even tinnier dog in their arms.   all six yapping away.    the guy who had pulled the arthritic men apart started to scream TRANQUILO, TRANQUILO, TTTTTRRRAAAAAAANQUILOOO.  which i found not the least bit calming myself and i guess the women didn’t either because one screamed at him and then spit in his face.  which he didn’t take that well and pushed her towards me.  she lunged and i pulled her back.  it really was not that difficult as it was apparent this tiny woman had partaken in one of buenos aires favorite past times… plastic surgery… and whittled her way down to practically nothing.  we were then joined by a security guard.  i have no idea what they were screaming about it was all too fast and too loud to be heard.  but it really didn’t matter to me what they were saying.    the shoeless man escorted the women and there handbag sized dogs back into the building  and the man with the bleeding head was left with two men; (MR TRANQUILO ) and the third man who had been there at the beginning.   they had no idea i was still even there…so i left. …and returned to pondering the question my favorite cafe’s music selection had brought to mind,  “when was the last time i heard…we are the world?”

i bought 7 vintage dresses for $70 and they all slid right off the hanger to fit perfectly onto my body…which in vintage world never happens.   one very fierce orange and cream dress was purchased at the san telmo market.  (joan crawford would have worn it to kick bette davis’ ass while wearing open toed sandals in saint tropez.)  i was standing in front of the mirror and the saleswoman  kept pulling it tight around my neck giving the effect i was wearing a dicky.  i was no longer crawford but lucille ball involved in some sort of hi-jinx that would lead inevitably to her not playing at the club.  i didn’t understand this woman’s new found modesty for my body.  when she offered me a place to try on clothes she pulled two dresses off the rack and hung them from a wire strung from the ceiling for me to change behind.  now… when on my body one dress is usually sufficient enough…but when hanging from the ceiling in front of me two somehow still lacked in supplying complete coverage.   i let her pull it close  to my neck one more time knowing it was the last time the fabric would ever see itself there.  it felt like a gramma was getting me ready to go out on the town. a gramma not my gramma…which, by the way, reminds me:

facebook clarifications:
a. my gramma does not have a fortune…believe me i’ve looked through every bureau drawer and behind every bookcase.  should anyone be tempted into garnering  her identity to abscond with her millions they would be sadly disappointed
b.  she has not stolen the identity of one unlucky sod still walking this earth unawares…she planned on lifting two names from the grave.  she was pretty sure they wouldn’t mind.  i am less sure.
c.  she has let me know that if trash talking in spanish appears on my facebook profile she will be learning the language.
does that cover it gramma?

time…what a relevant concept…you all jumped forward and i fell back …and while the clocks may say we’re closer …geographically not an inch has changed.

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