Blog: What Are You Looking At, Sir?
(originally written 8/10/14)
Yesterday, August 9, my dawg Chicken (and girlfriend Emiko) hosted a BBQ near their crib in the 408. A couple dozen other happy folks were in attendance.
For several hours, we ate, drank, ran upstairs to pee, entertained the handful of kids present—just a group of young adults having a good time on a warm, beautiful Saturday afternoon. The booze was guzzled responsibly. The noise remained at respectable levels.
Around approximately 5pm, I witnessed a gentleman walking two dogs (or one dog and one mop; I couldn’t tell for sure) on the sidewalk along our gathering area—two picnic tables, and two groups of friends circled on the grass. He appeared to descend from a former Soviet nation. I estimated him at 45-50 years of age.
As he passed, “Boris” fixated on something/someone in our group, his neck twisted behind him in what seemed to be a fruitless scan for/at something over his left shoulder.
His stride never broke, nor did his stare. This went on for several yards—oops, I’m sorry, meters—until he reached the main sidewalk and disappeared from sight.
Running the grill at the time, I observed the entire sequence. Boris never noticed me because I wasn’t whatever he was straining to see over his shoulder.
This sparked my own curiosity. What the hell was Boris lookin’ at?
None of the ten or so females in attendance were showing much cleavage (I checked well in advance myself :)) or other skin, ruling out lascivious intent. And on the chance Boris plays for the other team, none of us dudes’ biceps were bulging out, either.
At that moment, Sanjay’s handsome baby son was no longer present.
At that moment, I was not bear-hugging the long-unseen BJ Wooooden in glee over the end of our five-year separation.
My kid, at that moment anyway, was not digging in random dirt, locking herself on the playground, tackling Aldo and Loops’ daughter Angelica, or attempting to scoop out dip with her filthy bare hands.
If anyone was testing out BJ’s kickass virtual reality machine, it was out of Boris’ sightline. (That just reminded me—I never tried it. Damn parenthood.)
At that moment, no one was forcing me to verify my claims of feeling smarter post-booze by naming the capital of Michigan. You damn right I said Lansing—yours truly used to draw maps of not just the U.S., but the whole world from memory in elementary school! But I’m not here to talk about the past.
At that moment, no one was accusing Chicken of being “the AIDS’ Michael Jordan” (long story).
As I said, we were not making excessive noise, nor were we inebriated to the point of stupor. The bodies on the grass were seated upright and verbalizing, not strewn about unconscious with protruding tongues. No one was vomiting. None of the couples were engaging in coitus, nor were any of the non-couples.
There was absolutely nothing stare-worthy going in around or behind any of us, unless you classify a tumbling leaf as stare-worthy.
Yet, Boris could not turn away from our group.
It is possible he was staring at crap left in the grass by one of his dogs, but unless that crap had since risen from the ground to menace parkgoers with a shiv, I don’t think he’d gawk for a full 30 seconds. One would hope, anyway.
It is possible that—assuming he is from the oft-arctic Russia region where women stay bundled up—shorts and t-shirts may as well be bikinis to him and lascivious intent was behind his stare.
It is possible he’d never seen dreads before (BJ).
It is possible he’d never seen such a conglomeration of whites, blacks, people of various Asian heritage, at least one European and a couple of Latinos gathered in one spot—several of them dating each other (GASP!)
Whatever the hell caught Boris’ eye, I’m glad it wasn’t the mysterious torn front of my shoelace suffered yesterday. That was embarrassing enough as it was. Seriously, check the pic—have any of you ever done this before?