Tina Rowley

writer + (performer) + [space left open for surprises]

i hope his soccer team just lost or something

This is sneaky because I didn't go to sleep yet from November 2nd. But it's totally November 3rd. I'm like the grasshopper - wait, no - I'm the ant. I'm the one who's getting shit done ahead of time. I'm that guy.

So tonight while I was waiting at the QFC pharmacy for some prescriptions, a father and son came up to the counter to wait for something. The boy was maybe 8 or 9, blond and freckled. And he was weeping. And weeping. He curled up in a chair and sobbed into his dad's legs, while his dad smiled a small smile and stroked his hair. This boy got to me in the most profound way. The sound of his sobs was cracking my chest open. I have no idea what was wrong. They didn't speak. Just the crying and comforting and waiting. And I wanted so badly to know what was wrong, and I wanted so much to go and hold that boy, and fuck if my own eyes didn't start filling with tears and suddenly I was crying at the pharmacy, too. The sight of that boy and his dad and that mystery pain was so poignant, it was almost unbearable. I have no idea what was going on there.

I told my mom about it and she hypothesized that his mom is terribly sick with cancer or something. And I was like, NO! Come on! Don't do that to me!

I hope it's something small that just hit him hard because he's a little guy. I hope it's not something too big for a little guy. I hope my mom is way, way off.

Once, many years ago, I was at a grocery store and a guy was on the line next to me who was buying animal cookies and Kool-Aid. He was so explosively upset about something that he was turning red. He was angry with the checker, on the verge of tears about something, radiating heat and pain. Something to do with the price of his animal cookies or something. I remember him so clearly. He had a striped t-shirt on, the kind of shirt a little boy would wear, but he was in his 30's, maybe. Floppy, sandy hair. He threw the cookies down on the conveyor belt and yelled something at the cashier - and he wasn't a guy that seemed like he had something wrong with him or anything like that. There wasn't that vibe. He was just a guy in a huge amount of emotional pain, so much it looked like it was hard for him to hold it in his body. I remember going home that night and thinking about that guy, and wanting to go find him and comfort him - in some delicate way, from a distance, like a ceiling fan. He was like a walking sunburn, the worst kind of sunburn. He was so raw like that.

Pain at the grocery stores.