saturday night, i prettied myself up to prepare for a lovely evening out - for my friend amandas birthday party. as i was sitting on the train waiting for it to leave the station, and older man got on, sat down perpindicular to me (i was sitting on seats going the direction the train was going to go, he was sitting in the seat perpindicular to it) - anyway - he asks, in very broken english, with a very thick accent if the train was "going to astroia" i wasnt sure if he meant astoria boulevard or astoria in general, either were rather pointless questions as 1. the train only goes in ONE direction from ditmars and 2. we already were IN astoria. so i smiled and assured him he was on the right train. apparently, that wasnt good enough... he doubted my answer... "astoria?" he asked... i smiled "yes" so then i decided to help him out "are you asking if this goes to astoria boulevard?" "astoria?" i sighed, and smiled, "this train only goes one way" "36th?" "yes." problem solved, and i thought my life could go back to normal. not so fast. i noticed, out of the corner of my eye, that he was looking at me, smiling. i pretended not to see. then "where from?" "boston" "oh... i, india" "oh, nice!"
please, please stop talkign to me. "you very beautiful"
"you alone?" i think he meant, "areyou single"
so i said, "no, i'm not"
"oh... i alone..." great. "you live with me?"
no. no, mr 50-year-old-who-needs-his-visa-i will NOT live with you. in fear that i WOULD say that and make matters worse, i just smiled.
and, ladies and gentleman, he did not stop there.
"you beautiful, i like you look"
well, thanks, i appreciate it, but our relationship is going to end on this train.
"you live astoria?"
"no, manhattan" phew. thank you, thank you, whoever you are for allowing me to not hesitate, not think "well, he's harmless" and say i lived in astoria.
"manhattan? ohhh..." he looked beat, he looked devestated. thank GOD manhattan seemed like a plane ride, a hurdle, a long distance relationship away. thank you improvisation classes. thank you.
"you live with me?"
OHMYGOD. NO. NO I WILL NOT LIVE WITH YOU. WHY. WHY DO YOU THINK I WOULD LIVE WITH YOU? why do you WANT me to live withyou? if in fact i DID live in Manhattan, in the penthouse i was invisioning describing to him once he asked THAT question, i would NOT move to 36th ave in ASTORIA to LIVE WITH A 60 YEAR OLD MAN WHO COULD BARELY SPEAK ENGLISH.
"i like you look"
and, suddenly, my phone was the most important thing in my life. i took it out, and started receiving and writing the most important, longest text messages one could imagine. (in truth, i text my friend "a crazy man just asked me to move in with him")- and then deleted old messages, but i had a look of concern and determination. and.. after a few more attempts "i like you look" "you live with me" - he finally, gave up. also, the train at that p oint had started getting more crowded (we had, awhile prior, started moving, so had made a few stops.
and when he got off, i was so relieved, and put my phone away with gusto.
later that night a man said to me "your very, very pretty... i would buy you a drink, but i might put a rufie in it... you need to watch out for that... youre so pretty" and you, sir, are wearing a paper crown you got at medieval times...
goddamnit i just wanted a free drink!