The other day I was watching The Killing with the lovely Danusia and I said to her:
“If I was being executed I would probably notice what kind of shoes the executioner was wearing.”
She laughed, and said, “You have to do a blog on that!”
And here it is!
Since I was a child, I always noticed the little things that others never picked up on, or if they did, it didn’t register in the visceral, emotional way it does with me. The thing I remember most about being a child was how when my father picked me up there was a line on his face where he started shaving, right above there were tiny little fine hairs that had never been shaved, while below it was smooth and hairless.
I noticed that, and how he smelled of old spice after-shave and cigarettes.
I know these are my shoes and not the executioner’s, but I like them so much I had to throw them in again.
Last month, on my way to my first MOTH adventure, I had to walk on that street in Gowanus that goes over the canal, and walked by some kind of outdoor warehouse that had all kinds of old, useless stuff, tons of it, and if I hadn’t been so focused on getting up on stage for my five minutes of fame I would have spent hours counting how many dummies there were in the lot.
Here are some of them.
A week later, waiting to get into the Housing Works Bookstore for my second MOTH appearance (am I lucky or what?) I noticed DAVID BYRNE standing across the street from the bookstore.
I later noticed him inside, sitting in the audience like everybody else. He also waited in line for the bathroom like everybody else. No one else noticed him, and I had to point him out to the women I’d struck up a conversation with.
A few years ago I went to see my wife perform in a Chekov play at HB studios, and there was a scene in which the lead male character comes out in a vintage 1890’s swimming costume, and I couldn’t pay attention to his lines, because I was too focused on his bare feet.
I was sitting in the front row, and there, not three feet from my face, were two male feet, probably sized 12, with two hammertoes on the left and one on the right. I could not stop staring at the hammertoes, so that killed the whole play for me.
It would be the same if I were talking to a woman with canines, I would only be able to stare at her canines and not be able to concentrate on anything she said.
As a writer, I’m supposed to be curious, but I think I am more observant than curious, so I guess I’d be a lousy newspaper reporter, I don’t care so much about the whys as about the looks, I’m more visually oriented.
The other day at work the mail was late, I work at a “drop house,” which means we have no mailboxes, the postman drops off the cartons of mail and we have to sort it and deliver it to the tenant’s front doors. Unusually the guy before me does this, but the postman didn’t show up till 7pm, 4 hours late.
One of the tenants noticed the mail hadn’t been delivered yet, and asked what happened to the mailman? I told her I had no Idea. She went out to dinner with her husband, and when they came back I’d gotten the mail and sorted it and it was ready in the pigeonhole cart we have that we use to sort and deliver the mail in.
“Oh, the mail came!” She exclaimed, reaching for the mail in her box.
“Did you find out why he was late?”
“He didn’t say.”
“Did you ask him?”
“I would have asked him.”
Indeed she would have. I did notice it wasn’t the regular mailman though, and he was wearing sneakers.