Cheap Thrills

About an hour ago I was walking around Unter den Linden thinking about the crowds and experimenting with body language. It’s amazing how much your body language can influence those around you. Sick of getting stuck behind slow-walkers and bumped out of the way by bull-walkers, I decided to shake things up. Stuck my chest out and my shoulders back. Got into character. Set my eyes kinda hard-like and walked with a slight swagger. Suddenly I had right of way. It was beautiful.

It was in this assumed tough-guy stance that a gypsy boy tried to attach himself to me like a parasite. I had my headphones on but he didn’t mind. Asked if I could speak English. I shook my head and kept moving but he fell into step, with a smile and a laugh. Started to say something else. Knew I was an English speaker. Lucky for me, unlucky for him, I was too far into character to even be thinking. I just reacted. Burned a hole in his little head with my eyes. Stuck my finger in his face and told him to Fuck Off.

Should have seen the look in his eyes. Like he’d just been slapped. Took him a few heartbeats to get his head around the situation. Fell out of step with me. I had already won. Still, he had a little fight left in him. Caught up to me with a little skip, bounced his hands off his chest and threw his arms out. “Yeah… yeah… well fuck you! Fuck you!” His creaky adolescent boy-voice let him down. I laughed at his quavering, gave him a sideways glance and was gone. His feeble voice echoed after me down the street, each repetition a little more pitiful.

I walked home grinning.


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