Left In Lowell

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February 16, 2013

The Chastened Blogger

by at 10:25 pm.

Be careful,” she said smugly, as she sauntered off.

This is a true story. The names are witheld, because it is a learning moment.

Tonight, a buddy of mine scored some tix to the UML v. UMASS hockey game. Good seats, center ice with access to the Pavilion. When we got to the Tsongas, my crew breezed into the blue collar swank of Martyville. It stank of Old Spice and the ladies had their second generation Acre Doos neatly sprayed in place. I have no sales pitch. I ain’t running for anything, so I broke from my gaggle and beelined out the other side. My seat was in the middle of a row, so I plopped in an open end seat and enjoyed the First Period.

With 3 minutes left, the Riverhawks were floundering on the Power Play, so I headed to the can and back to the Pavilion. I may dub it the Hawk Nest. That may never catch on, but you’d be surprised how some of my blog speak has stuck in the Bubble vernacular. I buy myself and the guy that got me in, each a Winter Lager, then got my chat on. Yada Yada … The Lowell Memorial Auditorium … Board of Trustees … Mike Dinneen .. it’s all good. What’s up for the City election? Yada Yada.

There is a table eye balling me. Whatevs. They looked like Brahmin from The Belvidere.

I see one of the City Councilors, then two. One Councilor has the sweetest lady of a wife. So, I stood nearby to offer a quick peck on the cheek and a friendly, “Hello.” She is the best. The circle sort of closed in and I stuck around to chat about the upgrades to the joint. How I had seen the Talking Heads in the Tully Forum. Yada Yada. Pleasant stuff. No politics, that I could discern. Councilors deserve some down time. My crew had headed to their seats.

It was literally, just at about the moment when I was about to make a break for it, offer a jovial, “I’ll let you enjoy the rest of the game … ,” when some strange woman approached me. I got some odd introductory, Belvidere version of Travis Bickle. I was confused, by this. But, then the City Councilors started to say say,”Hi” to this woman. I figured out what I had on my hands.

Let me say this, I respect that she had enough clan loyalty to approach me and make an effort to put me back on my heels. At this point, the Councilors were peeling away. I don’t blame them. These things are sticky. So, it’s me and her. It was civil. At first, I was very subdued. I took the lashing. Mostly because I don’t know how much she actually knows and how much she has been told by others. However, she opted to over emphasize her point and I was more firm. Public people on the public payroll are fair game. Period.

“You don’t know my family,” was a common utterance for the several minutes we mingled. As I think about it here, in the quite of the lamplight, I know she is correct. All of what I know is third party. Some is gossip, but more is printed in the Blog of Record. My tendency is to print the stuff that is verifiable. But, I’ll admit that the gossip colors my perspective, especially, gossip from several credible sources.

The whole episode took minutes. And, as it occured, I was shrunken a bit by the cockiness of a woman that doesn’t weigh a 140lbs, dripping wet. For some reason, maybe because I am aware of my physical size and bearing, I normally shrink when small people get pissy with me. I was genuinely feeling her disgust for me. I was trying to process it. That anger. That violation. That trespass. This was a woman that I would certainly dowse via Fire Marshall approved methods, should I notice any flames emanating from her proximity. She stood her ground. She squared off. I do respect that.

Be careful,” she said smugly, as she sauntered off.

That bit was sketchy and I bristled. By now, I was an island. My crew was watching the game, 400 feet away. The Councilors had hightailed the scene of the crash and I knew it would have been imposing to cozy up to them, looking for affirmation. I was an island, floating in a sea of Old Spice & hair spray vapors. I was, in that moment, the proverbial ‘Leper,’ Paul Belley had warned me about. That moment sucked.

Be careful,” she said smugly, as she sauntered off.

I sauntered off, through the guarded entry, into the crowd of common folks, enthralled by the spirit of sport. Game on!

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