25 February 2010


I stopped at the fancy deli near daycare last night, to pick up some fancy prepared food, since my husband was working late. I took a little longer than I needed to figuring this out -- why are there so many offerings with tomatoes and corn, both far out of season? Is the spinach cous cous any different from the regular kind? I ended up with a brie-and-onion quiche that already feels like a disappointment, and it's still warming up in the toaster oven.

On the way out, I was startled by a big wet heap of snow falling on my head and arm. It was heavy and hard enough to feel like there might be a rock in it. The man behind me laughed.

"It's not actually funny," I said to him.

"No," he agreed, a little too jovially, "but sometimes it just happens."

Well, sure, and a minute or two after it happened, I was over it and planning to tell the internet. Two seconds after it happened, I realized that the wet heap was something that had slid off the awning of the fancy deli. Three seconds after, I realized there wasn't more to come.

But one second after it happened I thought: someone is throwing snowballs at me from the building above. Kids, maybe teenagers. I had a flash of that panicky sick feeling in my stomach that I got in elementary school when someone was picking on me.

What? You don't still get that?

I don't remember any specific incidents of being targeted by snowballs, but I do remember there were the throwers who were jovial, "hey let's just aim for trees and lob at people's backs"-sort, and there were the "take no prisoners, heads are fair game, we actually want to hurt people and a snowball fight gives us a modicum of cover to do so"-types. They probably grew up to be Rush Limbaugh fans.

Hard to say whether the man who laughed at me was in the latter group, but since I walked behind him for the next block, I got to target his back with my laser-like stare of indignation until he turned to head uptown. That'll show him.


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