Blog: My Walk To Subway
(originally written 6/19/18)
I just wanted a sandwich.
I could have easily driven to Subway and avoided so much public exposure, true. This would be a logical course of action for any other anxiety sufferer, right? Right.
But the day before, I’d spent over four hours on the freeway, and what felt like another four hours in the late-night Taco Bell drive-thru. The car was as tired of me as I was of it.
Plus, overweight 38-year-olds NEED to walk.
To the streets we go.
Things didn’t exactly begin auspiciously. You see, Saturday I got absolutely trashed at a friend's house, and haven’t seen my favorite glasses since. These glasses are vital to my public survival—as my boy Paul once told me, I have “kind eyes”, the type of eyes that invite morons and lunatics to hassle me whenever I venture away from home.
Though not intimidating in my shades, I look far less “kind” and have been hassled 40% less when wearing them. They’ve become as important to me as underwear this past year.
Obviously, I was not keen on a two-mile walk wearing only my “kind eyes”. So I gave the car one last cursory check—and proceeded to bang my dome on the door frame...right in front of my neighbor.
I can hear him now with his wife: “Dat nigga f----d his s--- UP!!! I was like, ‘sup, man, you need a helmet?”
So this was to be a lens-free walk. Who knew the sun was so...bright? It’d have felt less strange walking without my tongue. “Please, please, PLEASE nobody bother me” I chanted in my head.
There’s a parking lot near my place that is usually occupied by assorted characters getting high, getting drunk, arguing with each other, arguing with the animals...basically anything to keep from being productive on that particular day.
These are the ones who would spot ol kind-eyed Skillz and try to bum a cigarette, or a ride, or a place to live (you laugh, but I DID get bummed for a place to live earlier in 2018, which is a story unto itself. Sadly, I’m not here to talk about the past.)
To my surprise, the lot was practically desolate today—an encouraging sign, perhaps?
On the way, I decided to stop at Kaiser Permanente’s vending machine, the only place left in the Bay Area I can find Kellogg’s crisps. A middle-aged woman stood in the access road with her back to me, presumably waiting on a ride. (Of course, in these parts it could well be she was waiting for the Warriors parade to pass by...can’t rule it out.)
I walked past her, making only slight noise in my sneakers. She whipped around and gawked at me as if I’d poked her in the ear with my junk. I could peripherally see her watching me for several seconds to follow. TURN BACK AROUND, MISS...I’m not JaVale McGee, you’re a little late.
After KP, I continued on—before Subway, I did need to make a (hopefully) brief stop at our local post office. By the time I arrived, I had a bit of a sweat going and obviously didn’t want to bring any funk too close to other customers.
I put a good 30 inches between me and the person ahead of me in line.
Then a dude came in and stood close enough to straighten my collar with his teeth, had he so chosen.
He deserved the funk.
While we all waited, a man in his 70’s charged in and went right up to a window—he needed new mailbox keys and needed them now. Usually, crap like this would piss me off, but something about this guy impressed me—he was old and long past the point of caring about social customs such as waiting his turn or being polite. I can see myself behaving similarly if doomed with living that long.
When my turn came, I mentioned to the clerk that I hadn’t shipped a package in about five years. Her response? “That’s not good!”
Maybe where she’s from, “shipping a package” means something else. Fill in your own blank.
I finally reach Subway, where one short, older woman is having her food made.
The clerk asks if she’d like any other sandwiches. She says no.
After the transaction is complete...she wants another sandwich.
The clerk makes it and asks if she’d like any other sandwiches. She says no.
After the transaction is complete...she wants a THIRD sandwich.
Even the clerk was exasperated.
Have YOU ever seen that before?
(Luckily, another clerk made my order while all this happened, or else I’d have locked that idiot in the toilet. She HAS to be friends with the Kaiser chick.)
By this time, I’ve been out and about for over an hour and nobody’s hassled me (well, except two fenced-in terriers who “chased me away” from their yard.)
But an older guy with a cane—somehow walking faster than I do in spite of that—had the look in his eye as I exited Subway. Fortunately, I was able to run across the street to Chevron before he got too close. Whew!
Inside Chevron, I became the Subway woman.
I bought a Pepsi and split.
Then I realized I might want another one later.
So I re-entered and bought Pepsi #2, acting as if the first transaction never happened.
(Of course, a part of me enjoys the thought of the cashier wondering “Was that two different guys??”)
Now it was time to return home. This is where the bottom fell out.
Had to cross a busy divided road. Southbound traffic was clear, so I trotted to the median to wait out northbound traffic.
I didn’t want anybody to stop...was fully prepared to wait.
It couldn’t have BEEN more obvious what I was doing....
...to everyone except Chevy Suburban McDumbFace.
I wasn’t even facing oncoming traffic. Suburban McDumbFace was the last car. All they had to do was KEEP...GOING.
As I said, other traffic has cleared.
I was not at a crosswalk or even an intersection.
I DID NOT WANT THEM TO STOP. But they did.
And stayed stopped.
Now, a person of average intelligence would realize, “I’ve stopped for this guy, but he isn’t moving or even paying attention. Since I’m not at a crosswalk, stop light or stop sign, and he’s safely in the median with zero other traffic around, I’ll just keep going and he’ll cross when he’s ready.” And continue on their merry way.
But not Suburban McDumbFace.
What was their next action?
You guessed it.
I just pulled out my phone and fiddled with it. They were too stupid to deserve even a “go ahead” gesture from me at this point. Suburban McDumbFace finally drove off, having just wasted 15 seconds of their life.
I could have been in that median having sex with a coked-up zebra and they still would have waited for me to cross the road. And honked when I didn’t.
Once I crossed at last, I rounded the corner of a building and nearly bumped a homeless guy's parked cart. “HI, PARDNER!” he bellowed, as if we were old buddies. We’d interacted before—he’s a loon. I waved, responded, and turned away before he could ask about my relationship with Jesus or to help him collect some random fluid he found. DAMN those missing glasses...he never bothered me with those on.
15 minutes later I was home, and 25 minutes later I was stuffed full of hard-earned chicken breast chased back with 40 ounces of Diet Pepsi. While I still haven’t learned where my glasses are, I did learn the following from my walk to Subway:
Evidently, I am JaVale McGee or some other Warriors player,
When someone is an idiot while ordering, there could actually be a justifiable reason,
Not regularly mailing packages “isn’t good”, and
Canes make you faster than men 20 years younger.
Peace out, y’all.