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Three (or four) hale fellows

Monday 11/20/23

As I was running stairs yesterday--about to head out anon, after I write another op-ed--there was a fellow standing at the top sounding both phlegm-y and menacing as he spoke into his phone in Spanish. He had a tattoo on his cheek, which interested me.

What makes someone say, "It's high time I get that cheek tattoo"? Is the process of determining what tattoo would be best for your cheek a long one? Do you perhaps make a Pro and Con list regarding getting a cheek tattoo?

I feel--though I could be wrong--that when you get a cheek tattoo, you're in essence saying, "I can only go this far in life, I can only do so much, and by adorning myself thusly, I'm committing to being able to do less, and not go as far, as I might have been able to otherwise." Because I could see it being a hinderance.

For whom might it not be? I guess it depends on the work you do. If you have to interact with law-abiding clients, I think a cheek tattoo could be to one's detriment. If you were a plumber, and you were talking to your client about what the problem was, I could see her preferring you not to have a cheek tattoo during your consultation in the mud room.

Maybe it wasn't his choice to get the cheek tattoo. I thought of that as well. But it seemed ornate, and not crudely, quickly done.

I don't feel like having a cheek tattoo would be an issue if you were a whaler. Or obviously a pirate. I think one could be to your advantage then.

Around the same time on these same stairs, there was a man who made a gift to me of his wit.

Typically, I can tell when this is about to happen. I'll run past such a person, I'll see them looking at me, their face all scrunched up like they're trying to think of something clever. When I pass them again going the other direction, I pretty much know they're going to say something, then I'll have to do this fake laugh I do, which I admit sounds rather sickly. I'm not a master of going through motions. I can, if there's a larger purpose. But yucks on the stairs doesn't exactly qualify.

So he says to me: "It's not worth the effort, it's too hard." The joke being that's why he's not doing them--like he's considered it at some point.

Yes. Well. I remind myself that he's trying to be friendly, though he also wishes to have his comment be appreciated. It's fine. It doesn't really bother me. I end up acknowledging everyone who says something, actually. Of course, I do so with more effort and enthusiasm when it's a hot woman. I'm kidding. Well, you know. Stairs also teach us to be realistic.

The CVS here in the North End is depleted. Either picked largely bare, or they're not restocking, or perhaps it's because of shoplifters, but this doesn't seem to be a shoplifter type of zone. It's old Italians and young professionals, though there are a couple of guys who have been stuffing bottles of alcohol down their pants--there's a poster of them caught in the act on the front door--at the Golden Goose.

CVS did not have birthday cards for mothers, and my mother's birthday is Tuesday, so this meant that Friday morning I had to walk the three miles to South Station and back, where there's a large CVS. I did a lot that morning. They also didn't have any birthday cards for mothers, so I came up with a creative solution. It was quite touching, if I do say so myself.

Before I started back, I used the restroom at South Station. Why is there always some guy without his shirt on in this bathroom? What causes someone to say, "Right, the shirt can go"?

This is the same bathroom where I once saw that guy happily eating canned peaches. He had a spork.

Ironically (or not?), if the next time I go into the restroom at South Station I see the fellow with the cheek tattoo minus his shirt and eating canned peaches with a spork, that will make sense to me.

Query: Do you think that when the inventor of the spork realized what he or she wrought, that he or she thought that forks and spoons would separately become obsolete, and that he or she would rule the utensil world? And, having had this thought, then realized that knives still had some turf, and wondered if their creation could be further honed to put an end to that? Because I bet they didn't just think, "Well, here's an alternative, for those who want one or are in a kind of picnic pinch."

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