These places don’t agree with me anyway. I suppose Candace is right and one should eat vegetables and wheat grass and sea urchins and fermented horse spittle, but so long as these things aren’t sold in luxury shops I think I’d rather die young.
However, just to humor her (she’s coming over and will not eat anything less ‘sensible’) I dropped in to the Lotus Health Food Store to get her profiterolles made out of old newspapers, or something very much like that.
A lad of perhaps 16 years of age stood in my way, in the middle of the aisle I was traversing, in the way that irritates one tremendously if it’s a woman, and makes one tenderly forgiving if it’s a young male. I gently put my hand on his shoulder, almost caressing it. You know how I like to be kind. I bent over to him and whispered in his ear “My dear, would you mind awfully…-” when suddenly I noticed… it wasn’t a lad at all! It was a middle aged woman with closely cropped hair, military style. I withdrew my hand as if it was on fire, completely flustered and disgusted.
How could such a thing happen? How could my natural instincts, otherwise so robust, have let me down? I felt dirty and shamed. It’s a bit like the times (happened on two occasions!) I patted a little child on the head only to be faced by an angry dwarf turning around and glaring at me. But those times, there were no sexual overtones and an immediate crisis of gender identity.
I mean, do consider – I have never touched a woman as tenderly as I did this one, and never would in a million years. When a woman stands in my way in a shop aisle, I don’t touch her at all, or if I do, it’s to push her out of the way. I can’t stand ill-mannered women with no perception of where their bodies are located in space, and deal with them accordingly. I think that’s only fair.
And it’s been such a dreary day, already…It’s raining, and Aunt Eunice had to share with me that she cleans her teapot by leaving denture tablets in it overnight.
There really is no hope for humankind, is there?