Mr. Magoo or Me? Hard to tell the difference at times.


I am awake at an odd hour and am remembering being awake at similarly odd hours in my young adulthood. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about the wee hours of fun in NYC. And more specifically, I was wishing that I had worn my glasses so that my memories could be of more than just shadowy blurs. Alas, vanity. I also wish I had taken the guy up on his offer to trade his autographed Keith Harding t-shirt for my little black dress from Contempo. I seriously considered it but worried that walking home from a party in the middle of the City, wearing nothing but a t-shirt and tights might be making a statement I couldn’t defend. So, I kept my dress and he followed me around for two hours trying to talk me out of it.

Having been hilariously naive, thinking about that particular trip always makes me laugh. I was pretty prim, actually, and just expected that everyone else was too. In my world, drugs only happened in after-school specials, no one broke laws on purpose, and no one really had sex. I managed to end up trespassing, hiding during a drug raid, acting as a ticket scalper, getting minorly involved with mafia, witnessing a stabbing (and being physically dragged away from trying to help by the mafia-boy with whom I was minorly involved and two other people–probably to my health), and in retrospect, I think I was used as a drug mule during the ticket scalping incident. And I did this all with a Mr. Magoo-like innocence, with no idea of what was going on until after it had occurred, and even then not really understanding exactly what had happened. Honest to mergatroid, this could have been me.

I should have worn my glasses. Then again, not being able to see kept me veiled in my own hayseed idiocy, which is probably what kept me safe. Now I have contact lenses, which means that if someone offered me a handful of what looked like Mike and Ike’s and Smarties out of a ziploc baggie, I would recognize them as barbiturates, not just respectfully (and appreciatively) decline because I’ve already had more sugar than is good for me.

My lord those people must have thought I was an alien. Or already completely stoned. Probably the latter. Definitely the latter, given that one guy asked where he could buy what I was on. I’d just been the victim of an attempted mugging (foiled by my hysterical laughter, which terrified the mugger) and was frantically searching for my “friends” who had left me in the mouth of an alley to try to find someone to sneak them into a club. This random stranger thought my erratic behavior was a chemical result. He asked me what I was on and I told him, thinking I was sneering sarcastically, “It’s called fear, and I got it in the alley from a guy who tried to mug me.” He was very excited and took off, talking to himself about how he was going to get him some of that Fear.

Nothing so interesting ever happened at home, no matter where I went, or how late I stayed. Granted, I always wore my glasses at home…

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