Today’s projections

It’s all in how you look at things.

I don’t think Django likes people parking out front and then walking to the train. Something about the way they shut their doors. A big slam though it’s early morning. But for them it’s halfway through the journey, it’s been morning for hours.

They pull in quickly, slam the door, and walk briskly away, street shoes clicking on the pavement. Django fires off one short, piercing bark. She pauses as they continue off, unheeding. She barks once more.

What else does she do that I misinterpret? I don’t say project my emotions onto, because I don’t care that people park here and walk to the train. It’s a public street, and I’ve done it myself, in similar close-to-an-el-stop-but-easy-to-park-in neighborhoods. Vaguely feeling like someone’s going to yell at me when they see where I’m going, imagining myself retorting, “I’ve just as much a right to park here as you do,” seeing the slashed tires when I return. No, I’m not projecting. What am I doing? Being silly. Pretending she’s a deep thinker. Projecting my image of Django as Parade Marshall. It never gets old, at least to me.

Yesterday Chris came over. It was too late to take headshots of Dave, so we sat outside and had a drink. Chris told us some odd stories of people from a bar he used to work at. For example, a couple showed him their pictures from the guy’s birthday party where a conservative-looking woman was going down on his girlfriend. “She was down there for like ten minutes,” said the guy, flicking through picture after picture on his iPad. “It was awesome.”

What was that guy trying to project? What image of himself? His girlfriend? His lifestyle? We reveal ourselves with every act, every word. Sometimes people are paying attention.

On the phone this morning, Ruby told me about how when she lived in Appleton she used to read the Bargain Bulletin, a sort of print precursor to Craig’s List. One listing read, “Wanted to buy: Large green aquatic frogs.” Why on earth, wondered Ruby. Being Ruby, she called to ask.

“I just thought they’d be kind of interesting,” said the man. “Do you have some to sell?”

“No,” confessed Ruby, “I do have a friend with a farm, though, and could ask her to keep her eyes open. What would you be willing to pay?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe a dollar or two?”

This stumped Ruby, who couldn’t imagine how someone could want large green aquatic frogs enough to post a classified ad, but not have a specific reason or even assign them much value. “How large is large, anyway?” she asked.

The man answered, “Just about any size.” And that was the end of that.

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  1. Take it from me, aquatic frogs are no picnic to take care of. I had them for a while. Especially big ones, because then you need a larger tank.

    I love the line “We reveal ourselves with every act, every word.” I sometimes worry over things I say, as often I don’t express myself verbally the way I intend to. I suppose I have to hope that people are listening more than sometimes, so my collective acts and words resolve themselves into the revelation of myself I hope them to be.

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