Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sound Wars

Mabel Butler is singing along with every song. She is amazing me with her tenacity if not her musicality. The humming is an octave lower, a step after, and a decibel louder than 106.7 Lite FM. She is really pushing my buttons. Loud annoyed sighs are not conveying the message.

Mabel Butler, or “the B woman” as some of my coworkers refer to her, is a big-boned, wide-bodied black American in her mid-thirties. My first night on this shift I was warned by a sexist coworker not to say anything sexist around her because she carries a recorder with which to collect harassment evidence to take upstairs. She sued the museum once because the chairs in the perimeter booths are not adequate. Mabel wears a jacket that says “Special Patrolman” which means she can arrest criminals (and sit on them?). She carries no guns, but she has handcuffs. She also carries a portable DVD player, an iPOD, an Internet cruising Blackberry phone, a black folding cushion that has potential for electric vibrations (this function is not used), an additional black leather cushion which further supports her ampleness. She carries her Bible, with plastic tabs denoting the books within, O magazine and Black Entrepreneur, and cinnamon flavored gummy whales.

Mabel is now carrying her paraphernalia back to her locker as part of her 30 minute “personal break” so that the management of the day does not see the things she carries. While she’s gone I switch to Morning Edition to catch up on the bologna the politicians are spinning about the State of the Union. Then she’s back, but she doesn’t stay! Turns out she would rather be out in the thin early morning cold then in our cozy booth listening to NPR. Guess I’ve got her number just like she had mine. After an hour of this Liberal torture I switch back to the soothing sounds of commercials for Swedish mattresses and Brian Adams. She’s back, calling me sweetie, with a dangle of gold hoops from her ears, a flash of white under her faux-fur Russion style black leather hat – the ear flaps buttoned up. It’s 7:49 and I’m going home at 8:15.

She stopped singing along.

Yesterday a T.V. crew from “Law and Order” was shooting on the street in front of our apartment.

I saw the following works of art while walking up the steps to our apartment:

NOTE: Mable is not her real name. Neither is Butler.


Blogger Meredith said...


You might want to use some caution when assigning fictious names to people. Mabel is your mother-in-law's middle name. Just tuck that bit of information away for future reference.


6:25 PM  

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