She was a nurse. She was wearing bright red Chuck Taylors and the lipstick to match. She had the skin of someone who worked late nights. She was funny, in that snide sarcastic manner. She grabbed my attention. I thought to myself, "Neat, she might be someone cool to talk to while I'm institutionalized."
The next day she arrived as the sun departed. Her hair was something I would imagine a "The Cure" fan would appreciate. I tried not to be to judgmental. Plus, maybe to her benefit, a Keffiyeh garnished her neck.
Later she was told to perform some procedures on me. This is not a bad sex joke, just simply, bland medical language. So as she works we begin to converse.
"So you ride trains?" She asked
Laughing, I replied with a "No."
She followed with an "Ohh."
I continued with an awkward "Sooo..."
(And no this is not poetry, just one of those times in life where conversations actually rhyme.)
After more procedures, she spoke up.
"So what do you do besides hate 'the man,' hate money, and ride trains?"
Clearly she hadn't heard my "no" from earlier, that or she didn't believe me. It was also clear that she was trying to make a judgment or assumption on my beliefs, based purely on the tattoos that covered my skin. Fair enough, I suppose, considering my body has become a billboard for anti-this and anti-that. I also had already made my assumptions of her, but before I begin to reply, I digest the tone in which she spoke to me. I soon recognized it as a tone way too familiar for my liking.
It was a tone of talking down. It was a loaded question. She already knew how I was going to reply. She was going to fulfill herself in self-righteous grandeur with her hideous pride of being an apolitical, hipster shit-bag. I was entertainment to her. I was her culture's Noble Savage. Something to admire from a far, but not actually desire. A spectacle, to be viewed, but never experienced. I was "cute" to her, not in the kitten way, but in the poor, naive, helpless anarchist type of way. And for a moment I almost played into it, but I resisted.
I snapped back with a short overview of my past activism, although halfway through, her smirk began to grow. Quickly, I had to respond with heavier artillery or she would still turn this around and win. So as I finished my overview, I made sure to not give her time to reply, and as she began to speak, I stopped her at an inaudible gulp.
"And exactly what is it that you do? What else are you proud of, besides working for 'the Man'? Drinking at over priced beauty bars? Paying for haircuts that look like haircuts no one would pay for? Or is it completely disrespecting an entire culture by turning their traditional and meaningful clothing into an unremarkable fashion statement? People that are caught fighting a war. Trapped fighting for their lives every single day. I suppose that makes you proud?"
Almost immediately she replies, "working for the man, and overtime." Her sarcasm had dropped to the wayside by now, she was speaking with honesty for once. No facade. No barrier. I had effectively shattered it.
"Working overtime? Why?" I questioned her
Caught off guard, she responds, "To buy things for myself."
Stealing the last words, I state, "your life's pride is in buying things"
Nothing further was said.