Is That a Bunion in the Oven?

Today was one of those days where I felt invisible.

And for good reason.

While shopping, several vendors and store clerks never even glanced my way. It wasn't even the snobbery that Julia Roberts encountered on Rodeo Drive in Pretty Woman. I just plain didn't exist.

Twice after that, I approached automatic doors. They didn't open.

Since it's nowhere near Y2K, I'm guessing that all the world's automatic doors didn't break at once -- though wouldn't that be hilarious if they did? So I jumped around for a bit, doing the dance where I take a few steps back, run at the door again, jump to the side, take two steps back, scrape my feet along the floor, clog back and forth. Still, nothing. Both times the doors held me hostage until somebody else walked up.

Later, I used an automatic toilet. As I left the seat, the thing refused to flush. My ass didn't even register.

That's when it occured to me: HOLY CRAP, I'M INVISIBLE.

It was one part general surrealism, like "Maybe my whole life was a dream and I was never here at all." The other half of me instantly turned into a 10-year-old boy. "Let's go wreck some shit."

Just as I was really starting to get used to my new personae as InvisiGirl, the chink in my armor was revealed.

When in the ghetto, InvsiGirl transforms into Far-Too-Visible Girl.

I was only in the city today as a fluke. A tropical storm pushed bad weather this way. It wasn't worth the gas and the long drive to go all the way there with such a slight chance of jumping. So I stayed in the city all day by myself, while Boyfriend left town in case there were skydiving students for him to teach.

I used the opportunity to check out all the exciting things I usually miss when I'm skydiving.

That included a trek to the downtown farmer's market, which is truly wonderful. Unfortunately, the market is located in the middle of an extremely poor, drug-ridden area, which can be sketchy at times. A lot of people refuse to go there -- but I'm familiar with the place, and I never feel like I'm going to be shot or anything.

What I can't get over is how extroverted the panhandlers are.

It makes sense. You can't be successful in that line of work without being a certain kind of go-getter. Plus, when you're pissing on the sidewalk and wearing tin-foil hats, a lot of social mores are tossed out the window.

Today I was schlip-schlip-schlipping to my car in my flip-flops, a five-pound New York Times in one hand, bags of produce and baguettes in the other, somehow simultaneously digging my car keys out of my bottomless purse, when yet another panhandler approached me.

He was the eighth one of the day.

I have this new policy that I don't hand over anything unless the person entertains me somehow. Not in any "Dance, monkey! Dance!" kind of way. But I feel better about giving money if the person wins me over by being creative, interesting, personable. The guy who slumps in the same door frame every day around the corner from my building? No more. But the guy who quotes Shakespeare to me at Fifth and Vine? Cash money, baby.

I always feel really bad for the person and try to let them down easy. Still, it's hard for me to lie and say I have no money when my hands are full of STUFF. I used to offer food, until some guy winged a banana back at me and hit me square in the spine. Hard.

The man today took a slightly different tactic. He penetrated my InvisiGirl force field and got all up in my grill, shoving a cardboard box in my face.

HIM: Hey, you want some shoes?

ME: No thanks.

HIM: What, you don't wear shoes?

ME: (apologetic) Well, I do wear shoes. But I don't need any today. Thanks.

HIM: You want to go somewhere else and pay a lot of money?

ME: No. But I don't need any today. Thank you.

HIM: (following me) What size do you wear? I bet I have some pretty things.

ME: You don't have my size. I have big feet. Huge. TENS!

HIM: (holding up orthopedic shoes) LOOOOOK! I've got this beauty-ful pair of Dr. Scholl's in your size.

ME: (gagging at ugliest shoes ever) Listen, I don't want any Dr. Scholl's.

HIM: (indignant) What? You too good for Dr. Scholl? You think you're too good for him? HE A DOCTOR!

Whatever. InvisiGirl would kick that doctor's ass any day.
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By Blogger Joey, at 9:01 AM  

That reminds me of one of my friends, who, when high, came across a guy who said he needed money to take a bus back to Montreal. He made the guy do a little dance while singing "Frere Jacques" before he gave him money.    

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