The Redhead Complainer: To Know Her Is To Be Bemused By Her

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09/16/2006

Times Square, NY, NY 10036

Neighborhood: Midtown

Thus spoke the Redhead Complainer: “So I told him to get his own goddamned dinner.”

This vivacious female who rides the N train with me regularly once appeared intriguing–that is, until I finally heard her speak. And that only happened a few weeks ago, when the subway car was particularly bustling and my fatigued frame conveniently happened to be jammed up against hers and that of one of her gum-chewing friends.

The redhead had always been a bit of puzzle to me. I’d seen her semi-regularly on this train and she seemed to keep to herself. In fact, this was the first time I had ever seen her with a friend. I don’t know, there was just something about her. Let’s just say the redhead carries herself with an air of assurance.

Then, one tragic day, the redhead became The Complainer. Like I said, she was conveniently jammed up against my fatigued frame and this not-displeasing position provided me with the opportunity to hear her spout out a ridiculous story to her cohort. Another myth was shattered instantaneously.

“I couldn’t believe Joey,” she bellowed in a voice that would chagrin Sly Stallone. “He comes home drunk and he knows we have the big bowling match last night.” Oh my. The Redhead speaks like a truck driver, has a husband who gets drunk before dinner, belongs to a bowling league, and discusses her personal life in public. How the mighty have fallen.

From there, she went on to particularize their distasteful dinner, their protracted fight, their monotonous bowling match, and her going off without him to stay at a girlfriend’s house. All of this was spiced with enough fucks, shits, and assholes to supply a George Carlin album or two, and she loudly implied that her sneaking off could have led to spending the night with an interested male friend, but she nobly resisted.

Today, she sits to my left with the same friend as ever: a bubble gum-chewing brunette with teased hair who’s wearing a dress that might–I repeat, might–look good on someone ten pounds lighter. The Redhead-turned-Complainer is whining about how Joey (he’s obviously still in the undoubtedly overcrowded picture) kept interrupting her during some TV show last night. It seems Joey baby wanted to get laid.

The brunette giggles and makes this eloquent public confession, “Tony’s like that, too. Hey, like, I like it, too, ya know, but sometimes, I mean, I’d rather, like, watch TV, you know . . .”

Fortunately, at that moment, it was time for me to switch to the #7 train.

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