This was taken from the second story window of Helvetia, a local fast food joint.
On the night that I shot this photo, a bizarre thing happened, I was hit on by a dude! Of all the situations that I figured I would find myself in while in Chittagong, being picked up never even made the list of possibilities.
He was a Pakistani student studying at the Chittagong Medical College and flirted with me as if he just completed an online course entitled, “How to Make Friendship with Ladies.”
“Do you believe in ESP?” He asked and proceeded to play this pseudo-mind reading/math game with me where the punchline is “There are no kangaroos in Denmark!”
When he saw that I wasn’t impressed he asked another question, “Have you seen the movie, Titanic?”
“Yeah.” I remember watching it with Gus, about a decade ago, at the second-run movie theater town. We paid $2 each and snuck in a whole bucket of fried chicken to get us through the long film.
“What did you like about it?”
“Eh, it was interesting, I guess.”
“Anything else?” He prodded.
“It looked good?” I was trying to figure out where he was going with this, “The special effects were impressive.”
“But was there anything else you like? Like about the story or something?”
It seemed obvious that my obvious girl-response should have been Oh, I loved the romance in the film! It was such a romantic love story. Leo is so dreamy! But I’m not that obvious. “Nah, I just thought it looked good.”
He gave up and moved onto a time-tested line, “Do you believe in astrology?” I braced myself and he asked, “What’s your sign?”
I refrained from saying, “My sign? It’s Stop.”
*Make Friendship is a Bengali term for, you know, making special friends.
Anyone who knows me knows that the lack of male companionship during this year and a half is almost crippling to my mental well-being. While I enjoy hanging out with folks who aren’t my female teacher friends, sometimes a girl needs a bit more dude.
What I don’t need, however, is a wafer-sized cockroach lounging in my bed as I lay about leisurely unaware of its grossness being in such close proximity. Because it’ll force me to screech uncontrollably. My roommates will have to come in and watch me shake out my sheets so that they can slam their flip-flop onto the wretched thing as it lazily scampers away. I’ve hung out with creepiness in my bed before, but nothing is as revolting as these huge winged-roaches. Bangladeshi bedfellows are so uncool.
It was Saturday night, midnight-thirty, and so naturally I was in the ninth floor offices working on lessons. I was flipping through a Cadillac-sized textbook to search for poetry to teach when I read Robert Frost’s “Road Less Traveled.” In the question and answer section that followed the poem, there was a small thumbnail photograph of Frost to which I commented, “Robert Frost was hot.”
It was Saturday night, midnight-thirty in Bangladesh, and so naturally the image of any type of male dude person, even if it he is a deceased poet, will get me riled up.
The next fifteen and a half months is going to be painfully interesting.
My teenage-hood was plagued with enough cringe-worthy awkward moments to fill to make Welcome to the Dollhouse look like a light-hearted romantic comedy. There is a stack of wire-bound, college-ruled notebooks yellowing in my old bedroom at my parents home to testify hat I was an angry, demented and totally bizarre teenager.
While rummaging, I did find one piece of paper that provides as much answers as it creates questions:
See? Asian girls being into white guys isn't like this intrinsic feeling we thrust ourselves towards. When I was in junior high, in school with majority Asian kids, I crushed out on about a dozen Asian boys! This list was made during my 1993-94 school year, right in the middle of eighth grade, where a young girl toes the line between playing with dolls and dealing with her period. But I digress.
My point is that, beyond my subconsciousness, I believe that my dating of white dudes is based on the group of young adults that I hang out with and our similar interests in a particular space and time.
Why am I letting that security guard eff with me much?
And yes, as this list was amended in 1999, it does shed light into my lameness.
Where are these dudes now?
Do they wanna hang out?
Why haven't I changed much in my crushing practices?
Does it really say School Boyz with a “z”? (Yes.)
In response to the recent spate of gentlemen friends and acquaintances with whom I have encountered, Gus had this to say: “You're like retard flypaper.”
My awkwardness knows no bounds, especially when someone is complimenting me. It used to drive Corey nuts because I would invariably argue and negate his flattery. But I've learned that instead of being an insecure contrarian, I ought to just say “Thank you.”
Here are some of my latest favorite compliments:
- You're really pretty when you're not yelling at me.
- I've even bribed my daughter with money to read your Razorcake column because I thought the message was so good.
- Love you tons and miss you (and your cooter).
- I wouldn't go out with you. But I wouldn't go out with any of our other friends either! You all are kinda crazy.
- You're fucking Amy Adoyzie!
I've only done it twice.
Once, two years ago, during my first stint at Green Noise Records. It was early spring and I was ringing up another regular customer, a young man with short blond hair and rectangular eyeglasses. He came into the store a couple times a month and only bought vinyl. We never introduced ourselves because there's a threshold of time where we could have done that and awkwardly avoided it.
As I swiped his credit card through the slot, an idea sprung into my big boxy head. I surreptitiously made a mental note of the dude's name.
The second he set foot out of the store, I MySpace'd him. (Yeah, I used it as a verb. Don't pretend like you don't either.) Turned out he was in a loving relationship with a girl who was not me and I moved on. Until yesterday.
Another regular, with longer shaggy hair, brought two 45s to the counter. His card was approved, he signed the slip, I slid it into the cash drawer and read his name. I logged onto MySpace, but he was not to be found.
Maybe I should just try talking to him. There's an idea.
I wonder how long it'll be before our local news station does an expose on a new type of identity theft.
Tonight at ten.
You just wanted to buy that Compulsive Gambler's Live LP, but what you didn't expect was that someone was going to MySpace you. Stay tuned to learn about the latest threat to your e-life as record store clerks log on to check you out.
And more about Lindsay Lohan's cooter.
I've been told that I possess the foul mouth of a sailor, with curse words spilling out of my face like lukewarm beer. I admit that I enjoying cussing and don't see anything wrong with dropping the F-Bomb whether I'm talking about a good piece of pie or to a SUV-load of drunken frat boys riding inches from me on my bike.
But since my return, I've been referred to as a sailor for another reason- the sailor at port. It isn't inaccurate, except for the fact that I'm not spending nights in brothels or wearing maritime garb. But I am enjoying myself.
There has been a few occasions where I've drunkenly scrawled my phone number for someone, and not content with just leaving my name and digits, I also jot down directives like “I think you ought to call me” or “Call Me & Shit.”
It's amazing how well that works.