Did I ever tell you about the time when I was working in the city, this is going back a few years now. Right in the middle of town. For a while there Crossways was the place to eat, mostly because my work was voluntary which made me as poor as normal and the food was two bucks. Some people will know the place I’m talking about. As far as I know it’s still there.
The Hare Krishnas run it. For two bucks you get a full plate with rice or pasta with whatever and a semolina-based desertpudding and one of those yogurt drinks — I forget what they’re called now. It was a good thing of them to do. They didn’t put the hard sell on when they were handing over the plate or nothing. Just some books for sale and a red-LED announcement thingo that’d advertise their retreats to state Hare-central in the Otways.
The joint was always busy on account of the price and this one time I ended up sitting opposite this out-and-out yuppie suit bidnessman. By itself, not a problem. On account of the proximities in the place produced I’d landed in several out of the ordinary converstaions there before.
You could even go back for seconds but one plate would always easily fill me up. Yuppy was getting seconds and our table was close to the counter so I could hear him directing the passive-as-gelatine Hare; he was being very particular about what and how much of. I didn’t like the tone in his voice at all. I was just finishing up what I was eating and quickly got up and stacked my plates in their appropriate piles on another table near the counter.
As I passed back by the table I grabbed the yuppy’s umbrella that he’d left hanging over the back of his chair.
It was a pretty swish brolly — full length dark red and gray. The handle was shaped as a toucan’s beak. I shoved it under my coat and down the stairs onto Swanston toward Collins walking like I had somewhere to go. By the time I got to Collins st adrenaline was kicking in and I ran full kilter to Elizabeth street and jumped on a tram.
A few minutes later I was back at the HQ where I worked telling Clever about it and, by then, feeling the other end—buzzed-out and a bit shakey adrenaline burn.
It was a good umbrella but I’ve since lost it.
I hadn’t thought about that little event in quite a while til lately and from here am surprised at the selfwill. If that same situation had happened today I would’ve still noted the yuppy’s attitude but instead would marvel at it, like I was watching it through a tv screen and it all had nothing to do with me. I would think to myself that the humans are funny then write about it on my weblog.
I used to have the kind of inner Captain Kirk who would grit his teeth and grimace feircely while fending off neural neutralisers from wiping his mind clean. A real stand-up kind of guy who’d dish out shoulder chops like nobody’s business.
These days he’s chubbed up a bit, in The Whale Movie and more into jokes about Spock’s ears and pronouncing Vs as Ws.