Nomological Net

Stray thoughts from here and there. The occasional concern for construct validity. No more logic. Fish.

Name:

faults in the clouds of delusion

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Ek kanya

Lazy Sunday afternoon. Classy Shanghainese lunch, mellow. I am sitting outside a coffee shop in a mall, tethered to the pod, people-watching. There’s an escalator that lands a few meters to my right, depositing assorted groups of people in irregular waves. My thoughts come and go with them, sometimes noticed, rarely observed.

A pretty Hispanic lady, willowy summery lightweight collapsible stroller appears on the escalator. Unusual – everyone else is Chinese. In front of her I see a little girl, maybe two years old. Pink dress, bright, shiny eyes. I see her. She sees me. Eyes meet. A huge smile flashes across her face. She waves to me. I smile and wave back. Kids of two regard me favorably – they identify with me for a few glorious months before outgrowing me and moving on. This one is right in the target segment; I know the game well.

The escalator reaches level ground. The kid is still waving. She runs towards me. Through the muffle of the JGB, I hear her call, “Daddy!

Now that’s a new one.

The mother arrives, half a breathless second behind. Thick Spanish accent, beautiful, I was right about Hispanic. “I’m sorry, our father is Indian. He looks just like you. Very similar. Very similar.” [Lucky dog, my first thought – the child, not the wife!] She smiles, clearly very embarrassed. “Daddy!” the poppet says. Bright smiling eyes – her daddy’s playing a trick on her. I smile, what else can I do? To reach out to her, as I normally would have, would have been disaster. Her mother leans down and tries to explain, “This is not Daddy. He looks similar.” “Si-mi-lar,” the kid repeats, “Similar.” “Yes, similar,” we all say, off chorus. “Similar.”

The mother holds the kid’s hand and starts heading away. I wave goodbye. They both wave back. “Not Daddy,” I hear her say. The kid takes a few doubtful steps then turns back towards me, searching. There is a question in her eyes. She smiles again, as soon as she sees me looking at her. A stab of beauty illuminates her face. “Daddy!”

“Not Daddy.” “Similar.” “Similar.” They disappear behind a pillar. I wait for them to come out on the other side. They don’t. Mummy’s handling the crisis. I wrench my eyes away – let the poor lady make her escape. I bet this doesn’t happen to her every day either.

I turn back to my coffee and the pod. This is the first time in my life that a random babe has thrown herself at me. It’s also my first time at being called Daddy. I wish I’d asked the kid’s name. I’ve joined the ranks of the daddies. What a lovely smile she had. I’m growing old, aren’t I? The decaf was too sweet. The JGB played on.

It was you, not me that left
And went away with somebody else

Tore up over you and I just can't find my way

Tore up, yeah, yeah, yeah, tore up

Tore up over you and I just can't find my way

6 Comments:

Blogger Old Spice said...

Classic. What have you been up to? And more worryingly, how come your exact clone is married to a pretty Hispanic woman?

4/30/2006 8:15 PM  
Blogger MockTurtle said...

Come now TR, looking for love in all the wrong places? Maybe I should hook you up with some nice Boston girl next time your down.

5/01/2006 1:39 AM  
Blogger MockTurtle said...

Ok - that was a typo, I'm not really illiterate. I have this picture of Ross from 'Friends' saying "y.o.u.r.e. is 'You Are', y.o.u.r. is YOUR!!!"

5/01/2006 1:42 AM  
Blogger gIftoFwIngs said...

we alll r gettin old..too old truly.. :(

5/01/2006 2:58 AM  
Blogger J. Alfred Prufrock said...

That would have broken my heart. I'm a very soppy father and the nicest part of the day is coming home to my baby's gleeful "Pap-PAH!!"

J.A.P.

5/01/2006 3:44 AM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

graduate:
it wasn't me. it was my Evil Twin. and the girl was adopted.

mt:
it wasn't me, dude, it was her. love minus zero = no limits, and all that.

gift:
yup, even the kid.

jap:
sounds like fun :-)

5/01/2006 12:44 PM  

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