There are certain things that should just not be done in public. Picking anything, for starters, should be outlawed. Fights, noses, ears, ass cracks, and balls. No thank you. I’m in Borders at Columbus Circle. Where music and media meet parenting and education books, lives an area of red club chairs, with outlets beside them, coffee tables, that sort of thing. There is a man across from me in nursey sneakers the color of putty, and pants the color of stones you’d skip on an overcast day on a harbor. He’s in a plaid button down, but it’s not flannel variety; it’s more the Ralph Lauren outlet store variety. He’s over 65, his hands are warn and brown, his nails pink and clean. He’s a pale black man with large ears and gray hair. Had his magazine had a jacket cover preventing me from seeing what he was reading, I’d assume something to do with engines. A Consumer Reports meets Popular Mechanics kind of guy. Yeah, not so much.
He’s reading Penthouse. Isn’t porn something you should restrict to home use? And the way he’s handling it, flipping from the back towards the front and back again, he’s not exactly reading the articles. Man, if I had balls, I’d ask him for it when he was done. “Oh excuse me Sir, are you through? I’ve been waiting for this issue all week.” I mean, Penthouse in public? Is there no shame?
Well wait, maybe there shouldn’t be shame in it. I have nothing against porn, but I don’t want to know, for example, that my barista at Starbucks is into lactating women, or that the old retired man with facial features that look as though they belong on a character made from a gourd is into pornographic magazines. I’d assume Benny Hill or the now equivalent, but Penthouse on a Tuesday afternoon beside a woman who’s copying recipes out of glossy square hardcover cookbooks? I take it back. Now he’s "reading" Complex, a magazine with a half naked woman holding a chainsaw in an errect position. Maybe that’s what happens when you get old, you really stop caring what people think. You say outrageous things, wear mismatched clothes, and survive on nothing but pickles and day old bread for a week. Because you’re tired of rules, and life is too damn short, and so is your libido.
When I’m an old Woman, I will Wear Purple was one of my favorite poems as a young girl. I’ll grow to be outrageous, so I might as well start practicing a little bit of it now. Here’s to doing anything you want to in public, so long as you don’t break the law. Cause then you might end up in Sing Sing, and if you’re there, it’ll be tough to be outrageous. It might make an interesting lesbefriends issue of Penthouse. I’ll go smack him on the back now, tell him he’s doing a great job at offending everyone younger than he is. Or I’ll get another tall, skim, no whip, toffee nut, latte and call it an afternoon.