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MY FIRST SCOUT
A secret story by Jared Bryant
As I approached Boston's "blue line" transit system heading into the cities Government Center, I seized my first moment as the elusively defined position "model scout". I quickly positioned myself in the seat next to this gorgeous young lady hoping she would notice my DKNY suit and wonder what I did to afford such trendy garb. As the stops came and went, the anticipation of actually speaking to this beautiful person made my heart race. "She is just a person" I would tell myself. "She doesn't care who you are or where your from", after all, what's the worst thing that can happen? Rejectionâ.boohoo. If I am to be an idiotâ the sting would only last the amount of time it takes for me to climb up the stairs and blanket myself in the protective numbers of the populous. Had I any amount of insight as to the events that would soon unfold, I would have just stood up and punched the passenger next to me out of trying to enact a quick and decisive way of changing fate.
I felt the time was right to pounceâ. (Have Andy do the "Meow, pounce" for this part) I waited until just before we arrived at our destination, figuring if she was not deterred by the sheen of my glossy sweat covered forehead; she may just be receptive to my faltering diatribe. In this scenario, not waiting until the train comes to a stop and opens its doors could prove most costly. I was not aligned to field any questions concerning my newfound career (of which I was growing suspect of on a minutely basis).
Here goes nothingâI meanâ"nothing".
The next portion of the story unveils the single most frightening, uncomfortable and just plain embarrassing moment in my illustrious, but tangled life of social interaction. "Excuse me, are you a model?" As the heads turned to see who was cool enough to pronounce "I'm a model scout" the face of this gorgeous women opened to reveal a twisted, back woods Cajun bayou set of chompers that had this well traveled man groping for verbs. Terrified to be so close to such a lack of dentistry, I shied away from handing her one of my cards out of fear that the motion of the train would undoubtedly force her to lunge forward and jab one of those tusks into my precious little paw.
The blood rushed into my head in an effort to keep me from passing out on the floor of freshly chewed gum. The stares from my fellow commuters seemed awkwardly sympathetic to my situation, as one would be towards a person coming face to face with the crushing death of a bear trap. If not for this next act of mercy (of which I can only attribute to the existence of a god), I would have surely began looking for a way to throw myself from this fine display of public transportation. No more than two seconds had elapsed since the discovery of the toothy graveyard, but it was an eternity. I lived and died in those fleeting moments, and now I was going to be resurrected from the abyss of tortured rejection.
"Holiman-ga-if-amabode", (I hoped this meant, "I don't speak English" in Swahili). The faces from the surrounding railway zombies had had changed abruptly from sympathetic to pathetic. My only motivation became proving myself to the spectators of this proverbial (almost literal) "train wreck" and try to seem worthy of the apparel I donned. "You are beautiful" (trust me Andy, it didn't flow quite as well as the compliment I gave to that gal in Minneapolis). I spoke like most people speak to non-English speaking foreigners...with a slow and elevated tone.
I hoped that if she knew any English, this might be one of the words. Of course, whoever may have given her this compliment in the past must have done so as an unsuspecting dope (much like yours truly) prior to the exposing of her ivory leather shredders. Lucky me, she understood. Had I greater abilities of clairvoyance I would have foreseen the inevitable reflex induced by the acknowledgement of a compliment, which turns the corners of the mouth upward and widens a smile. I am narrowly escaping the horrific uncontrollable "incident" which has been standing over my shoulder waiting for the ripened situation to become too much for this curdled body to contain. My worst fears of erupting violently in the face of this poor women/tyrannosaurus were building to the point of no return. I have had out of body experiences, and I was getting that familiar sensation of lofty spirit, as if my only defense against this monster named "incident" was to have my soul leave my shell. All hope is now running for cover. The first wave hits with the subtlety of a sneeze that may have blown out a sinus. Hiding as far in the haunch of my shoulders I must have been a site. I Sheepishly glance back at my now captive audience, as if to communicate telepathically what was about to happen but the price for their admission to this rare phenomenon was not letting them in on the joke. I thought things like "I wonder how far I will get trying to explain my situation to this peanut gallery?" Then the second waveâI had this idea, and of coarse by now my brain is pumping like the piston of a monster truck, I pictured trying to let someone in on the joke, only to have them retort with another foreign language. This sent the snot shooting out of my nose at a speed so explosively it could only be measured in Feet Per Second. Precluding this was a build up of lung steam leading to the compression of air trying to be absorbed back into the body slowly so as not to alarm anyone as to just how close they were to witnessing something that would affect them long past the ride into town. My eyes became bloodshot. Just when I thought I would have to give in, or suffer the injury of a jettisoned eyeball, this wonderful sound which I had heard a thousand times prior in different hotels while getting onto an elevator, or when forgetting to shut the lights off in my carâ"DING!" Like a 3rd grade recess bell or an angel's trumpet signaling the end of purgatory. The silky voice, this voice of God exclaiming in a deep Martha's Vineyard accent as if Ted Kennedy himself was freeing me from this near mummification, "Guvament Centah!". Like swimming too deep, and trying to surface as fast as possible but not knowing how much further you have to reach air. I erupted out of the doors of the train laughing, snorting, and making noises that make other folks down right upset. I tried convincing myself that the next attempt at this scouting thing would yield an English-speaking citizen, and not look like they had been chewing on a lug-nut, but all I could think was "I will never be able to approach a stranger again".
For other fun reading, see 53 Stories by D. Austin Nash
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