Monday, June 02, 2008

Stories I'll Tell My Grandkids

Why is power so intoxicating? Bleh. The other day, I was walking up to the Roma neighborhood when I was called over by a guy I met a few weeks ago. He was wearing short nylon shorts and a white shirt that highlighted his gut. But, he was standing in the door of a shiny, black Audi, wearing shades, talking on his phone, and exuding "cool." He's once of the municipal council members. I saw that he was on his phone, so when he motioned to me, I just waved back. He insisted that I come over and talk for a moment. I found myself getting absorbed by the feeling of "these things make me important," and I was getting tongue-tied. He basically wanted to ask me if the Roma listened to me. Huh? "Umm...," I found myself foundering. "Did you listen to what I told you the other day? That's the important thing," I told him. (We had a conversation about capitalism vs. communism, haves vs. have-nots, and the power of money.) He smiled, "You're a smart one." Nice. Cool guy with the shades and the Audi told me I was smart. It must be true. I hope I never become anyone really "important." All I will ever do is go around and shake hands, getting tongue-tied and telling myself that I matter because I know powerful people. I can see it now. Power corrupts. It would corrupt me in a heartbeat if I were allowed to get a hold of it.
Just to keep me humble, I have to share the following story. I usually don't talk about my dating life - except to mention the M-Tel boy in Velingrad that I'm in love with, who only smiles, says "hi" to me, and then ignores me these days (my aching heart!) - but I just have to share this 'cause I think it's funny. So, there's this guy in my town that I casually dated for about a month. We haven't gotten together in a while, so I figure it's all over. Every once in awhile, however, he calls me just for fun to ask when we're getting together. Usually I'm out of town when he calls. We plan on meeting up. He says he'll give me a call later, and then he never does. Repeat this every couple weeks. He usually calls me late at night, and I'm guessing he thinks of me when he's had a few drinks.
So, last week, he called me at midnight. Here's, more or less, the conversation we had:
Guy: When are we getting together?
Apryl: I've had enough of this. This is pointless. Why do you call me to ask when we'll get together when we don't? You're just wasting minutes on your phone.
Guy: You weren't sleeping, were you?
Apryl: No.
Guy: So, you wanna get together?
Apryl: I'm going to sleep.
Guy: When are we getting together?
Apryl: We never get together. I thought this had all ended.
Guy: I've never said that it's over, Angel, so it's not over.
Apryl: This is pointless.
Guy: Angela, I really like you. I want to get together. I've just been busy.
Apryl: Why are you calling me "Angel" or "Angela" or whatever?
Guy: 'Cause that's your name.
Apryl: That's not my name. (laughing) Do you not know my name?
Guy: Of course I know your name.
Apryl: Then what is it?
Guy: (laughs)
Apryl: I knew you didn't know my name. I'm going to tell this story to my grandkids one day - about how I dated a guy who didn't know my name.
Guy: I know your name! (laughs)
Apryl: Whatever.
Guy: When are we going to get together?
Apryl: I don't see the point.
Guy: Don't you know that you're my girl?
Apryl: Um, excuse me? I'm no one's property.
Guy: Let's get together tomorrow. I won't promise that I'll call so I won't end up lying to you again.
Apryl: Right. Ciao.
Guy: Ciao.
He hasn't called since.
I'm going to go eat some Mexican leftovers.

You can look at these pictures if you want.
In the meantime, there's also this great poem by Judith Viorst that reminds me of my attitude toward awards and recognition:

What Price Is Glory?

I stood on a stage
and they gave me a medal
For being the Best of the Bunch.
The Ricky Gesumaria came by
And ate it up for lunch,
With mustard, a pickle, two slices of rye,
And a very nasty Crr-rr-unch.

I stood on a stage
And they gave me a trophy
For being the Top of the Heap.
I waited for cheers
But the audience had fallen asleep,
Except for Joshua, who yelled,
"No trophies for that creep!"

I stood on a stage
And they gave me a plaque that
Said I was the star of the Show.
It weighed a hundred pounds,
Max Goldfarb dropped it on my toe.
And the next time someone calls my name
And wants me to stand on a stage
And get some prizes,
I'll still go.

1 comment:

Andrew! said...


very nice, angela!

hey, i called you smart once when i was wearing a bowtie - why didn't you write about that?