With the most brutal bits of winter over (hopefully), Lunch Break Tales are starting to heat up! Soon, more freaks will be slithering out of the nooks and crannies of Pittsburgh, so my lunchtime walks should be getting more lively here soon.
Until then, here is a small collection from the last week of walks.
On one of my Strip District strolls, I felt the urge to get my church on, so I hung a right past the grocer playing “Sara Smile” and visited St. Patrick where I did some atonin’.
J/K, I was there just there for a minute to take pictures because I was bored.
Old as fuck.
St. Patrick, I guess.
He seems mean.
2. Callous Coat Compliments
Earlier last week, I was standing on a corner waiting to cross the street and talking to Henry on the phone because that’s what you can usually catch me doing while I’m outside around ‘town unless Henry is “busy” and doesn’t answer his phone no matter how many times I hang up and call right back. But on this particular day, I pinned him down and he was obediently listening to me yap about my day, when I vaguely heard a voice calling out to my left about a jacket. I didn’t think anything of it and kept right on jawing off to Henry and just as I was about to step out into the street, the voice grew louder and more forceful.
“I SAID I LIKE YOUR COAT!!!” yelled a very rough looking girl with a neck tattoo who looked like an extra from Orange Is the New Black. She was walking past me on the sidewalk, tugging on her own coat to illustrate her callous compliment.
I quickly gushed a thank you and prayed that I appeased her before she decided to shank me and bloody my damn coat that draws way too much attention.
Shockingly, from a lot of old men. It must remind them of an old beloved couch.
Henry asked, “What the hell was that?”
“Oh, just another fan of my dumb gold sofa coat.”
Random mural from another walk last week. I’m so close to being able to walk to my favorite Asian market but even if I made it, I wouldn’t have enough time left to go inside and buy anything UGH WHY CAN’T I HAVE A 90 MINUTE LUNCH BREAK.
3. Candy Cashola
On Valentine’s Day, I went to Crazy Mocha to treat myself. As I walked to the counter, I noticed a young guy sitting alone at a table, with two giant gift bags at his feet, numerous helium balloons tied to them (the bags, not his feet), and a heart-shaped box of chocolates opened on the table. At first glance, I thought this was a really sweet scene of a dude getting his Valentine gifts ready for his girlfriend or boyfriend. But then I noticed that he was methodically wrapping each bare-backed chocolate with CASH MONEY, DIRTY DIRTY CASH MONEY.
Oh I could have spit up a little in my dirty chai latte. What a poorly-executed idea.
But still….MORE THAN I GOT FROM HENRY.
On Mondays, I have to take my break earlier than usual because my little group has a meeting at 2pm every week and that’s what time I usually take my walk. Do you know me? I am a creature of habit and Mondays always screw me up because I have to CHANGE MY ROUTINE.
I was all ready to go out around 1 when I checked the weather (#responsible; see also: Glenn has been purposely steering me wrong lately). I saw that there was a chance of rain, so I went and borrowed an umbrella from the umbrella stash in a drawer behind Marlene.
I can’t remember now who told me about that stash but it has SAVED MY LIFE several times.
In the drawer, there three umbrellas: a black one, a blue one, and a red one. I almost took the blue one. I had my fingers wrapped around the handle and everything, but then I reached for the red because it’s the smallest one and I didn’t feel like lugging around a large ‘brella if it wasn’t raining out there.
I have reasons, OK? You wouldn’t understand.
So I went outside and it was not raining, hooray! I went and got a chai latte at Crazy Mocha with zero ordeal, totally low-key for once. Although I ordered a small chai latte and dude gave me a medium one but I was less annoyed as I could have been when I thought he charged me for a medium and was making me a small. So I left with the medium since that’s what I paid for and didn’t feel like arguing that I ordered a small, having him void the transaction, and start over from scratch. I have shit to do!
It’s some new guy. He’s OK. But he always asks, “What can I get y’all?” which always makes me toss a quick glance over my shoulder and wonder if he can actually see my imaginary friend!?
Anyway, this story is about a cut so let’s get back to it.
I finally got a hold of Henry after I left Crazy Mocha and he was trying to act all cool like he was so busy and couldn’t talk to me, so after about 10 minutes, I got fed up with his superiority complex and said, “I’m hanging up now” and then hung up before he could respond because I don’t time to be courteous, and also because it had started to rain so I needed to pocket my phone and deal with the Opening of the Umbrella, of which I have a storied history.
My relationship with umbrellas is torrid.
I was especially unfamiliar with the inner workings of this small red umbrella. It wasn’t the kind where you push a button to unleash the monster. I had to push it up on my own, and once it was completely extended, I had to push down on a metal thing to pop open the umbrella part.
But I didn’t push down hard enough so the top started to come back down and my thumb got pinched inside of it — I am having a super hard time illustrating with words what went down here because I’m not a verified Umbrella Expert and do not know the technical names of the parts of it, OK?
What I can tell you is that it fucking LACERATED the pad of my thumb and a big bubble of blood sprung forth immediately and I screamed out loud and started to panic because I was a twenty minute walk away from the office and BLEEDING. It was stinging so badly.
“Don’t cry don’t cry don’t cry,” I kept hoarsely whispering to myself. I knew that there was a fire station nearby, but it was in the opposite direction and I needed to head back to work. So I couldn’t cry to a fireman. For a fleeting moment, I also worried about the scent of my blood-bubble attracting local vampires or maybe a demogorgon, I don’t know what goes on beneath the city. Do you?
I looked across the street and saw Two Louie’s Market. I considered going in there and asking for a bandaid because surely they have a first aid kit for employees and if I had to buy a fucking beverage, then fine!
But I was afraid that if I stopped walking, I would pass out.
So I just walked back to work in blinding pain, rain pelting down on the umbrella, my non-umbrella-holding hand squeezing my thumb like a tourniquet to keep it from falling off.
Came back to work and started screaming about my injury while bandaging myself with blessedly-large Ikea bandages.
“LOOK AT HOW THE BLOOD IS SHOWING THROUGH!” I screamed to Glenn and Todd, who were trying to process what was happening so quickly around them.
Glenn mentioned something about our meeting being canceled and I was like, “ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?!” so I marched down the hall just as Amber was emerging from her office and, thrusting my wounded thumb at her, I said, “This is all your fault! If you would have canceled the meeting before I went out on my break, then I would have went out at my regular time AND THIS WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED!”
“Wow. …sorry?” she shrugged, completely not caring.
Then Glenn or someone suggested that we call the meeting back on so I couldn’t talk about my cut and I quickly waved it off. “No no, it’s not that big of a deal.”
I really dislike meetings!
“Was it still raining out there when you came in?” Todd asked me.
“Yeah, raining blood,” Glenn deadpanned.
On my way home from work, I noticed that my entire hand hurts now, from my thumb down to my wrist.
“Oh my god, what if I have tetanus!?” I cried to Henry.
“Why would you have tetanus!? When were you last vaccinated for that?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I shrugged. “When I was born?”
“No,” Henry sighed.