Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Dubious Compliment

I leaned forward against the post office counter the other day, as I shipped comp copies of "The 99" to an artist in the UK.

"You have a beautiful body," whispered a middle-aged man behind me.

I froze, pretended not to hear, paid, and walked away stiffly. I was aware that I was being watched.

Then I thought, "Who cares? No one has catcalled me in months. Years? Don't get all uptight about it. Laugh and be glad he didn't say Your is butt is big and your roots are showing."

I used to get catcalls a lot more on the Lower East Side. It wasn't all gentrified then, and the most common was the spitting tea-kettle catcall.

"Ssssst, ssssst!"

Whatever that means.

The one that completely confused me though was the "compliment" I got about six or seven years ago, on Orchard Street.

A man was passing me, walking south to north as I walked north to south. He glanced at me and said clearly, as he walked by:

"You still got it, baby."

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