Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Two New York moments from today.

I left my desk to walk around the Upper West Side for a while this afternoon. I passed a Victoria's Secret store. I looked in through the 20 foot tall windows and in between the lavender negligees and industrial strength breast enlarging super-bras I saw something, something that looked out of place. At first it was all a whir of unfocused black blurs and sweeps of cloth. Then I looked closer. And then I had to walk in and get closer.

Four women in head to toe black Chadores (full body gown), head covering, and face completely masked in black except for eye slits.

It was a surreal juxtaposition. Mind you I have spent some time in the Middle East and have seen some things that are quite unfamiliar to the eye (like completely covered women skiing in indoor, man-made, ski palaces in the deserts of Dubai) but this was just so Fellini-esque. They rifled through the sexy undergarments and sweet smelling body lotions.

What a story there must be behind this visual. From the little I could see of their eyes and facial structure I am sure they were Gulf-State Arabs. I continued watching and...the saleswoman was helping them to...apply eye makeup while holding the lace eye coverings up. What a story must be behind this visual.
Standing in line at the post office. A woman and a 2-3 year old boy with bowl-cut brown hair and pale, creamy skin are in front of me. The child is doing a little twirly dance. Humming and singing. Making nonsense noise, more twirling. He brushed up against my pant leg.

Mom: I'm sorry, is he bothering you, is he disturbing you?

Me: He is a child who is dancing and moving and humming like a child. If I were to be disturbed by him, it would be like being disturbed by the rise of the Sun or the blooming of flowers. All are natural and being disturbed by them would make me quite a bore.

Mom: Looks me in the eyes, smiles, nods head, looks down at boy, smiles again.