As it is written: you can take the boy out of upstate, but you can’t take the upstate out of the boy. Or as we say it in up-country: You can taxidermy the roadkill, but that don’t make the skunk stop stinking.
By this we mean that we who have flocked to Brooklyn like the salmon too lazy to swim upstream tend to retain characteristics that are not usually attributed to more weathered (and by weathered we mean scarfed) denizes of our unfair Gotham. First and foremost amongst these characteristics that remain, clinging against my skin like the stink of a semi-recently flattened skunk, is a habit of talking to strangers. I moved to New York City for new experiences, so if I am to be wary of talking to strangers, I might as well just join the NRA, buy me a porch upstate (not a house) and occupy my time putting up “no trespassing” signs around my muddy puddles.
This interest in talking to strangers means I frequently get in conversations with those charming fellows on the subway asking for charitable donations in the form of quarters and dimes–I cannot stand how coolly these people are ignored despite their earnest assertions that they do not plan on spending their quarters on drugs or this substance known as alcohol. I take my subway rides seriously, as time to practice being friendly and approachable, and not give into the habit of blank-eyed focus on my i-gadget.
Of course, deliberately working to maintain an approachability also means I met some rather interesting folk.
Recently, I was walking confidently home the other night, proud of the fact that I knew where I was, when a woman coyly “hallooed” me from across the street,
“Good sir,” she asked, “is there a drinking establish beyond this here saloon with which you are familiar”
“Nay” responded I, confusedly trying to match her diction. “Sorry.”
“‘Tis but a trifle. I was trying to sell some weed to these two dudes, but I couldn’t whip it out of my bra fast enough. Do you want some weed?” she asked, brandishing her breasts in my direction.
Not being one to buy drugs out of people’s underwear, I declined.
“I couldn’t remember which titty it is was in, and they didn’t want to wait”, she explained, thoughtfully grabbing the previously mentioned titties. “See, its cold, so I was wearing mad layers, and the weed had slipped down in my bra, and I couldn’t remember which titty it was in, and they couldn’t wait and ran off.”
Having needed to leave the conversation at the first mention of the word titty, I decided to instead admonish her: “You gotta keep it somewhere more accessible.” This is a ludicrous thing to say, because it a) meant that I was actively prolonging this conversation and b) presuming to know the first thing about drug dealing and where to keep one’s stash.
“I know, but its mad cold, so I have a bunch of layers” and in case I didn’t believe her, she started lifting up her various shirts . She decided against doing the full strip: “You sure you don’t want some weed?”
“Actually, now that you, woman I don’t know, have suggested buying things out of your underwear a second time, I think I will take you up on that offer. See, I was going to go to the convenience store, but this is clearly much easier. You wouldn’t perchance have today’s New York Times stuck in your ass crack? I’ll take your least soggy copy, please. In which garter do you keep your candy? Regular convenience store in your Hanes. My god, woman, this is going to be the next gourmet hipster food truck!”
In the end, she came to a fair conclusion, declaring “Fuck it, I needed that money, but I’m just gonna smoke it.” Which seemed a fair conclusion. If you can’t beat ’em join ’em, or as we say upstate, if you can’t get the car to work, just leave it on your front lawn.