June 06, 2007

Waiting Downtown

I’m sitting outdoors in downtown St. Paul, waiting for the theatre doors to open and for my theatre companions to arrive. I sat in the wrong place and within ten minutes have decided it’s time to move. The peacefulness of watching the pigeons has been disturbed by a barrage of f-bombs being dropped right next to me. I’m not a prude, but these people are making me sick with their little lower-class drama and urban profanity. I’ve got to get out of here.

Ten minutes later: Okay, that wasn’t so hard. I know I’m a racist when I say certain people of a certain cultural background come off as being the most brash, obscene, and obnoxious ingredient in the melting pot. I’m not so blind to think all dark-skinned people with pants hanging below their butts are this way, nor would I say people with fair skin and high-water pants are incapable of being brash, obscene, and obnoxious, but there’s no denying that the people I was sitting next to a little while ago definitely fit a stereotype. Thank you, MTV.

Back to the city. It’s really a shame how it has dwindled. It’s still a lovely city, but the downtown area pretty much dies after 5:30 p.m. when all the employees go home to the suburbs, especially on the east side of town where I work. Tonight I’m attending a play on the west side of town, a whole six blocks from the east side. This side of town has actual restaurants instead of fast food caves nestled in the skyway path. There are three theaters and actual retail shops on the west side of town. The people who work on the west side of town are professional corporate types, as opposed to those on the east side like me – the government schmucks. People over on the west side dress in jackets and ties, dresses and pantyhose. East-enders wear the same clothes at work as they would if they were cleaning out their attics.

But there I go again, stereotyping. I’m a well-dressed government professional. I fit right in over hear on the west side. And now I’ve sequestered myself in the enclosed patio area of a restaurant for a refreshing libation that requires money, which turns out to be a metaphor for the separation of class in our society. You see, despite the fact that I work on the east side of town, my presentation and demeanor definitely fit into the west side scene, while the guy who was compelled to sing Private Dancer at the top of his lungs to a passer-by and announced to his homeboys that he wished he had some money cuz he’s horny is positioned on the west side of town, but is a total misfit. An intimidating misfit, but a misfit nonetheless. Funny how stuff happens that way.


Okay, I misspoke. I totally disregarded the Mears Park area over on the east side of downtown St. Paul. There are actual restaurants there too. I guess I work in what could be considered mid-town. The part of town where they turn historic buildings into contemporary eyesores. Where the pastimes of the working people are softball and bowling as opposed to concerts and theatre. Yeah, mid-town.

Oh how I crave the cosmopolitan life; how sad I am that I have been sucked into the mid-town-to-suburbia lifestyle.

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