Public F*ing and The Art of Selling Out
Alright. Enough about the house already. The grass has grown back. I cut it. The library got painted yesterday. It’s “coming along”, people. Thanks for asking. Really. Onto bigger things.
Like public sex. Like the kind i saw yesterday on my way to an outdoor music festival. It appeared, from a distance, that a guy was rhythmically pumping one of those drop down flexible security gates, his hands above his head, clutching the rungs of the gate, his legs spread slightly, his pelvis crashing into the gate, causing it to shudder. It wasn’t obvious right away, but there was a girl up against that gate. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed her, had she not moved. As we passed, she reached for the hem of her denim mini skirt and tugged it down (for effect really. I mean, come on, sister. One more square inch of flesh isn’t going to send anyone over the edge. You’re having public sex, for chrissakes.)
Yes, the boy definitely was either stoned or drunk and his pants were about 3/4 of the way down his legs. His oversized shirt covered his backside. What was most striking was this: while they guy looked like he was enjoying himself immensely, the girl looked embarrassed and maybe a little scared. She was just a touch taller than him and her head poked out just above his right shoulder. She looked right at us as we passed. Weird.
Afterwards, I thought to myself: this is the kind of thing that always happens to other people and never to me. Almost everyone I know has some sort of “i saw people doing such and such in a public place”. Not me. Not ever. Do I have some instinct to avoid this stuff?
I remember a bus ride home in high school. It was my first year of high school. I was still a naive little girl, fresh from Catholic grammar school, on her her way to Catholic high school and ignorant still of the inner workings of human sexuality. Nancy P., all ninety pounds of her, leaping up on her bench seat, revealing the rolled up waistband of her her too-big plaid uniform skirt, pointing to the window and screeching and giggling that the guy in the car next to the bus had his pants around his ankles and was masturbating as he drove. We all rushed the side of the bus Nancy was sitting on, but, by the time we got there, the guy had sped off. Nancy, breathless and smiling, told us the details. He was looking up at her. He was an older guy. The car was an older model. He was hairy. I sat back down in my own seat, disappointed that a few seconds had separated me from another opportunity to glimpse into the adult world of sex and its secrets.
After a few more blocks of walking away from the kids on the street, my thoughts took a turn. Was she there by choice? Was that a rape I had just witnessed? Did i just walk away from a CRIME, stifling nervous laughter and averting my eyes? Geez. She DID look a little scared. She WAS really young. She WAS tugging her skirt down so we couldn’t see her… She did look right at us. Was she saying HELP, or, Man, I am embarrassed. Hurry up, drunk boyfriend, so we can get the hell out of here. I hate that I have to think that way.
Earlier in the day, I sold a little piece of my soul to eBay. I’ll let you know if my “cute, perky” mug (their words, not mine) makes it to Internet. I was standing in line for a smoothie when a woman with an eBay t-shirt approached me and asked if i had ever sold or bought anything on eBay. Turns out, i had just sold my Simpsons figurine collection to a Canadian via CLH’s eBay account. Made a cool $600 (i bought the damn things for almost $1200.00 seven years ago, so you could call that a really sound investment). I told the lady with the t-shirt the story and she called over her producer. I repeated the story to him. It wasn’t much really- just that we had made all this money on the eve of moving into the house, and that, when all was said and done, I had essentially used that cash to pay my first mortgage payment. That, and after frantically wrapping up more than one hundred figurines after 51 simultaneous auctions on the eve of moving day, we moved with something like 12 less huge boxes. They ate it up (i think they ate up more that i was “cute and perky”, “had great energy”, and that i was wearing my hair in pigtails. I was asked three times if i was over 21 years old). So, i may be an eBay spokesperson soon enough. Here’s the thing i took away from that: I am frighteningly good at taking direction. The producer made me do three takes, and by the third take, I was a 12 year old, telling the story in an almost-falsetto about my dolls that i sold on eBay and how thrilled i was that eBay was able (with a dramatic wipe of brow with back of hand) to help me make my payment just in the nick of time! Scary, huh? From jaded to juvenile in three takes. Who knew?