The only sidewalk on the block is on the other side of the street, so I sometimes get to see passersby as a weird form of entertainment while drinking my coffee. A recent midmorning’s occasional silence was broken by a guy and a girl, both in the 375-pound range, walking down the street in matching blue sweatsuits, telegraphing their arrival through the guy’s verbal boisterousness.
“So, what were you gonna say?” said the guy, right to the side of the girl’s face.
“wah wah wah wah-wah” (which is how I write the little sounds they used when the teacher spoke on the Charlie Brown animated specials whose voice was always out of earshot of the viewer), said the girl, her gaze remaining straight forward, a bag of groceries under one arm.
“What were you gonna say?”
“wah wah-wah” said the girl, still in a volume that would be appropriate for their relative personal distance, but soft enough that nobody else would hear it.
“What were you going to SAY?!” said the guy, with his voice bellowing with that animalistic growling sound that humans can make when their uvula is flapping back and forth like they do when characters are yelling in cartoons.
“wah wah-wah” said the girl, after which the guy quickly grabbed her in what looked to be a choke-hold and yelled into her face, “JUST SAY IT!”
“SAY… IT.” They started walking again, she still seemingly in a choke-hold. “I can git you to say it.”
I ask myself is he really choking her? what color is her face?
“SAY IT!” he hissed into her face, while she was still walking with the bag of groceries under one arm as gracefully as one could with a 375-pound gorilla wrapped around one’s head.
I ask myself does she seem to be in pain? is he really hurting her or not?
Pushing his face right up against her face, walking a reasonably straight line with her seemingly still in a choke-hold this whole time, he whispered “SAY IT!” so loudly I could hear it plainly from 25 yards away.
Just then the little chihuahua that is often tied to a wrought-iron gate in that same yard came un-glued and started yapping. That’s when the guy dramatically flung his arm violently off her neck, as if with enough force to send her to her knees and skidding across the sidewalk, but actually in a manner that didn’t even cause her to waver or miss a step.
The guy turns to the chihuahua and yells, “THIS DOESN’T CONCERN YOU, TACO BELL DOG! AT ALL!” He made a feint toward the yapping dog, and then looked up to realize the dog’s owner had been watching the whole scene. Then he turned back toward the direction they were headed, and he hop-hop-hopped down the sidewalk next to the girl with the groceries, hopping out of my view as if he were a contestant in an invisible sack race.