A BAD OMEN?
Last night I was accosted by a white-haired, rambunctious bloke who'd been laughing wildly at the end of the bar all night. I'd just gotten off my waitressing shift at the gastropub I work at in Chelsea, and was minding my own with a Sunday Times and a glass of white wine. He invited me to sit with the "chaps" and have a drink. I said if the chaps were well-behaved I just might.
He introduced me to them--turns out I was sitting with a Chelsea football star and his entourage. It didn't mean anything to me because I don't follow football (it's just soccer with more hype), but I guess the football dude was a big deal. He was good looking enough, kind of quiet and had a really firm handshake that seemed to last for days. (OMG I'm suddenly in pulp fiction/noir style mode, I apologize).
Anyways, the white-haired man was so-and-so's personal masseur and he wanted to know my life story. So I told him I was out here to study journalism. He said "don't do it!" He went on to tell me I was too good for that. When I tried to explain to him that journalism was an honorable profession, and that there were so many different types of writers out there that he couldn't simply tell me that I was too good for it all, because it wasn't all bad, he just said, "Aw, but if you want to make money, you're going to write something that won't be so honorable." Touche.
I'm finding it more and more difficult, as the industry morphs into something more elusive everyday with the help of new technology (i.e. blogs), to believe that I will one day earn my bread and butter through writing things that I feel are, indeed, honorable and of the public interest. Then again, being a young woman, he probably made some immediate gender-based presumptions as to what "journalism" meant to me. He probably thought I daydreamed about becoming an editor for Hello! or OK! or Grazia or one of those other bullshit chick-trash weeklies. I'm sure that he'd never stretch his imagination to think for one second that I may just be a lone Woodward looking for my female Bernstein...
He also told me a joke...here's the short version which probably isn't funny since it's lacking context, but...a woman turns to her husband in bed one night for a romantic interlude and says, "Honey, tonight, I want you to kiss me where it stinks." So he tells her to hop in the car right away. The hours go by and the wife is growing uneasy so she asks, "Honey, where are we going?" He says, "Darling, I'm driving you to Birmingham!"
Wine almost shot out of my nose at that one--Frank Lampard's masseur is one funny guy.
This is what Frank Lampard looks like, he looks a lot dreamier when he's playing soccer:
Masha Gessen is the author of *The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia*, which will be published in October. In the July issue of Har...
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