April 1st, 2015 (Observations from around New York)

Disclaimer: Everything that is written about in this post is factual. Nothing has been written in an attempt to mislead or fool the reader. I am only participating in one April Fool’s joke this year. Currently, I’m wearing a Captain America t-shirt (I’m not really Captain America).

Sorry for the long gap between posts, but schoolwork has picked up considerably, and I guess I’ve been sidetracked for the last two-ish months. I intended to finish my blog posts on Sri Lanka, and I guess I could still attempt to do so, but given the fact that I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast this morning, I’m not going to finish it since I don’t want to mess up the details of our grand excursion.

Moving on.

It’s been an odd week so far, at least the first two days of the week were odd (or really, Sunday and Monday night).

On Sunday, after going for a walk around my neighborhood (the weather was lovely), I happened across my neighbor drinking a vodka-seltzer. He usually sits out on the stoop and smokes a cigarette at night, or during the early evening, so the timing was surprising. Sporting a full-lumberjack beard, he invited me to have a drink with him. Normally I would say no, but I realized at that point, that he had offered me a drink at various times over the past two-and-a-half years, and I had never taken him up on it. He seemed like a regular dude, and pretty frequently we would shoot the breeze while on his stoop.

We headed upstairs back into his apartment, and he topped off his drink while simultaneously handing me a large bottle (called a magnum?) of wine from Argentina. The wine was surprisingly good as well as inexpensive, and we talked about my neighbor. My interaction with her had been minimal, but apparently she designed the logos on liquor bottles for a living, and she had 46 employees working under her. I couldn’t help but think, “How do you get into that? That’s such a cool job.” Not that it’s something I want to get into after I graduate, but it’s definitely something I’m keeping in mind. I’m still holding out hope that the piece of paper that I’ll receive in May will help me to find some sort of gainful employment.

My neighbor and I talked about life for a while. We talked about his niece who had transitioned from a woman to a man, who was biracial, and who liked women. After his transition, the relationship between him and my neighbor drastically changed. He became an avid christian, and denounced my neighbor for being gay. It was as if Christianity had offered him (not my neighbor, the nephew) the certainty that he had craved, or at least some sense of stability, and he was going to justify his actions through the bible and god. This is not meant to be a commentary on religion or anything of the like. I just found the whole story rather curious. I’m still confused about religion in so many ways, but one thing I would never do is use it to justify hate, or to do harm to someone else. My dad always said, “Some of the meanest people I’ve ever met were devoutly religious.” I don’t know how I feel about it, but I couldn’t help but think god did not want his words to be used to justify hate against other individuals. However, people are going to interpret things differently, and you just have to make peace with that.

Sorry for those two tangents, but at this point I figure that you the reader have read enough of my posts to know what you’re going to get when I write. On Monday night, I had a later night at the library, and I took the F-train home. While listening to some of the new Kendrick album on my obnoxiously large iPhone, a stranger made a comment to me (at me). I glanced at him, acknowledged the comment, and promptly returned to my game of Spider Solitaire. He continued to talk to me though, and not wanting to be rude, I paused my music and took out my ear buds. He said his name was Sol, and that he was a former social worker (now retired). He had a big Jewish star hanging around his neck, and he proceeded to ask me a bunch of questions, including:

“Are you from California? You have that look.” I told him that I was from Boston.

“Is your family from the Midwest?” I said yes, from Illinois.

“Have you done any acting or modeling?” to which I replied, no, I had not.

He then asked me if I was 21. “I’m 27,” I replied. He made an odd noise.

He then told me that his brother (cousin?) made spaghetti Westerns, and handed me his card (photo to be posted later). The card said the guy’s name, and then under it it said “Nicest, funniest guy in town.” Then on the rest of the card were the phrases “Looking for a hot date,” and “Need loving.” Now those may not have been the phrases verbatim, but they were very similar. I’m not entirely sure if he was looking to hire me to be in a movie/play (a Western, no less), or if he was propositioning me (do I give off that vibe?). Either way, I’m still not sure how to feel about that interaction. It’s been a weird week, but the weirdness is good. It keeps things interesting in my opinion.

I will close out this post by saying that it’s good to be back and writing. I’ll be graduating soon, and after that I’ll have plenty of more time to blog. I guess the theme of this post would be that you should always keep an open mind, as cliche as that sounds. You never know when you’re going to have an interesting, thought-provoking conversation with someone. Never lose that sense of child-like wonder as you go through this life, be constantly on the lookout for the strange things that can and will happen to you.

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