Once upon a time, my sister Erica and I co-authored a book called “The Mad Tourist”. We obsessively returned to the phrase “it was destined to be the greatest unsolved mystery of his career,” and took great delight in inserting it in the most ludicrous contexts. Today, I am going to examine the greatest unsolved mysteries of my life. I have high hopes that via the inter-relational magic of the blogging world, someone out there may have answers for me. Could that someone be you? Ask yourself that question and report back to me.
The tall Ethiopian man. He lives in our neighborhood, and wears a neon shirt (orange or green) and a tracksuit come rain or shine. He recently explanded his wardrobe to include a shirt with horizontal stripes–when I saw it, I was shocked. “Wow, a new shirt,” I mused as I walked to the train to go to work. “I wonder why he has a new shirt.”
About 2 weeks ago, on our way to the El stop in the morning, my husband and I spotted him in a new all-yellow tracksuit that was shining like the very sun itself. “Hey, look at our friend,” my husband said. “Wow,” I said. “Yeah,” he said. “Uh huh,” I added. I mean, this is a lot of new clothes happening after a whole year of just two shirts. Something is going on here.
Every day I see him walking up and down the block calmly, contemplatively, frequently with his hands in his pockets. He is almost invariably alone. I rarely see him interacting with anyone. Does he have a job? Is he the ‘lookout guy’ for some kind of neighborhood ‘dealio’ that I shouldn’t really be mentioning or inquiring into? Does he really just walk around the neighborhood, all day long? Or do we just happen to catch him when we’re ambling around, and he’s equally curious about why we seem to always be walking about? Does he have an identical blog post . . . but about me? “Saw that weird looking freckled girl again . . . looks like she finally got a new coat after a year of wearing the rattiest looking grey carpet sack you can imagine. . . she couldn’t stop looking at my new yellow tracksuit, not sure what’s up with that . . . wonder if she’s the lookout girl for some kind of neighborhood ‘dealio’ since she’s always walking around . . . I mean, what does she do all day? Does she have a job, or what? . . . “
Once after returning from a walk on the beach I saw him standing in front of a “No Outlet” sign–as I passed, he pointed at this sign and laughed aloud.
There was nobody else around to witness this laugh.
If you are that Ethiopian man and you are reading this, who are you please? Do you have a family? What do you do all day? My husband suggested that maybe you are our neighborhood’s guardian angel. Please confirm at your earliest convenience.
This picture of my new brother-in-law Dave. Could somebody please explain?
I mean, why is he holding that pig? Did the pig come from the bucket on the right? Or is the pig going into the bucket on the right? Does the pig love Dave as much as Dave appears to love the pig? Is the pig enjoying the tight embrace, or is the pig actually struggling to escape Dave’s vise-like grip? Why is Dave so upset? Is this a “Charlotte’s Web” story in which the runt of the litter is going to be slaughtered and Dave realized via a magical spider that this pig was Something Special?
Thank you for your assistance.
Where does the dirt come from? Where???
(By the way, my husband–bless his manly heart–totally didn’t get this mystery when I asked him to proof my post. “Huh?” he said. “It doesn’t make sense. What dirt?” And then I laughed and laughed and cried and laughed some more. I’m happy for him . . . really. If I were oblivious to the dust constantly settling on the furniture 2 seconds after I wipe it down, my life might be a happier place.)
Supposedly this is me at 7 years old.
But I demand a careful investigation–what? Who? How? Whence? Forthwith?
Run for the hills! That’s all I can say.
My extended family. During the reception at my sister’s very-blogged-about wedding this past July, my cousin Charles and his wife Rachel got up to demonstrate how kissing should be done. This is what happened. First, a running leap into Charles’ arms . . .
What mutations in the genetic line produced such . . . ballsiness? Daring? Panache? Utterly unabashed showmanship? And even worse–do I have those impulses somewhere inside me, and will they surface with a bang in an embarrassing episode I will never live down?
Charles, Rachel–you have earned my undying admiration. Wow.
Update: Charles and Rachel have just announced they are having a baby! I couldn’t be more excited, and I’m desperately trying not to do the math that takes us back in time 3 months . . . right about to Erica’s wedding weekend. OK.
In the next day or two, I will be setting up a toll-free hotline (1-800-JENNAS-UNSOLVED-MYSTERIES, or 1-800-536627-86765833-697837437). If you think you have the answer to any of these questions, please dial in using the touch tone menu. Representatives will be standing by. I considered offering a cash reward for answers, but decided to use it to buy a fancy coffee for myself at Starbucks instead–I hope you’ll understand.