Saturday, February 18, 2006

the plain brown belt

so, as you know I’ve been searching for a long time for a plain brown belt, size 34, with a plain square brass buckle. I went to the American Way thrift store at lunch today specifically to search for this item. as I had many times before, I pored over this impossibly tangled nonsystematic wall of belts for several minutes before finally giving up. just before leaving I heard this weird squat woman in a blue utility vest muttering “hmm... it has a ticket but no price tag...” whatever that meant. she had a heavy Mexican accent. as I was walking away, I turned back and she was holding a plain brown belt with a plain square brass buckle. and it had some weird tag on it that I could have sworn said “34!”

so I asked her—“are you going to buy that belt?” and she says “yes” so I was pissed. but something seemed amiss— she was wearing that utility vest, so she really looked like an employee of the store. and the way she said “yes” really sounded like how some of our country’s newest arrivals will say “yes” to whatever question they don’t understand. and then I saw her walking around with a *different* belt in her hand, and talking to a bunch of other squat Mexican women, who were pushing around big carts full of random shit, and I couldn’t figure out if they were *buying* these items or *restocking* them, and I wanted to ask her— where is the belt? she hadn’t put it back on the wall, it didn’t appear to be behind the counter, and I kind of followed this woman around for a while stealthily looking at the carts she was— was she pushing them? walking by them? I couldn’t figure it out. there was no dividing line between employee and customer, just a horde of squat, square chicanas jabbering in that nasal Aztec Spanish, and I just wanted to find that belt, but I couldn’t ask the woman again because she had sounded all surly and pissed off for some reason the first time I asked her, but maybe that was just because she misunderstood me... but she had muttered to herself about the price tag *in English*- so what the fuck was going on? and why had I somehow come into the store at the exact instant when the one belt that I’ve needed for six months, the one belt out of *hundreds,* I come in at the *exact instant* that some weird woman had grabbed it off the wall, and then it fucking disappears… and this whole confusing situation, you know... the sheer wall of mexicanness created by this horde of chattering brown women prevented me from getting close to her and just asking her again... I was afraid of looking crazy, or like a dick.

and then I thought—what does this mean? that this holy grail had been dangled so close to me and then cruelly ripped away— or more precisely, dangled in front of me just to *show* me that it was there, without my ever having had the opportunity to actually get it... I started thinking that I had been destined to have this belt, and that if I had got it I would have been newly confident with this perfect accessory and it would have led to all kinds of success, some fulfillment of a long-buried destiny as a fruitful artist with riches and fame... but if I *didn’t* get the belt, then I would just recede into low-paid obscurity like I am now, lonely and poor and miserable, forever. and I kept freaking out like that for a while, even as I was walking back out to my car, and eventually this woman’s ethnicity became a big part of it an I started thinking that I hate all Mexicans, etc. etc. and I had this whole train of thought about destiny, like convinced that somehow my destiny could guide me to this belt but apparently wasn’t strong enough to keep this weird Mexican woman from grabbing the belt at the exact wrong moment... and I thought about how i'm learning Spanish in the car, and why didn’t I have the balls to ask the woman about the fucking belt *in Spanish*... and fucking— fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

yeah, destiny— like— somehow I had just missed out on an incredible destiny. some people are comforted by the idea that there’s no such thing as coincidence but I find it really horrible. the pressures it creates... horrific...

anyway, as I kind of wound down I realized that I was of course being completely fucking batshit— I mean— none of the other belts had tags with their size on them, so the thing couldn’t even have said “34"... creepy. I had like a little mini psychotic episode.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mr. Richard Lee said...

You white people are always blaming your own problems and failings on minorities. Typical.

1:34 PM  
Blogger iris of the dead said...

You crazy fuck (excuse me, I don't like to curse). You're too fine. That belt is swimming in ether.

8:44 AM  

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