Friday, February 03, 2006

small talk, big city

Earlier today I decided to make a short trip down to purple passion to replenish my supply of bodyglide. I was going to be in the area anyway and I figured it would be nice to return there to see if they had anything new or interesting.

While waiting in the subway station carrying my over-packed backpack with my headphones blaring in my ears I thought back and realized it had been about a year since my last visit. I began to reminisce about the times when I used to visit the place. I bought my first catsuit and last bottle of Eros there. I had somewhat fond memories of the place, but nothing very close or connected to it.

As I stepped on the subterranean train I was reminded how frequently I had visited the place. I used to go about once a week just to stop in, check out their ever-changing assortment of latex, and to say hello to the store owners and employees. They had always been very nice there and never minded it when I tried something on, unlike DeMask in NYC when the first time I tried on a catsuit there they asked to see if I had any money beforehand, then proceeded to complain about cleaning the stuff after someone tried it on.

I got off at Chelsea and walked down 8th ave till I hit 20th street. As I turned on to the familiar length of pavement I started feel a strange anxiety come over me. The way one feels when they are going somewhere they know they shouldn't be or returning somewhere they haven't been in a long time. I was half-expecting some homecoming that would be comprised of 'hellos' and 'how have you beens.' I thought it would be nice, but at the same time I have grown tired of making small talk.

Upon entering the shop my anxiety dissipated and I felt more at ease as I hung my headphones around my neck. I looked up and saw the woman who sold me my first rubber hood. She offered to give me a 15% discount on it when I had brought up how good a customer I have been under the condition that I put it on right then and there. Her along with a couple other workers all chuckled with glee about the idea and they looked at me an anticipatory gaze that said, "I want to see you transform into this fetish so we can look at you as though we are seeing ourselves."
During this moment of reflection the woman looked up, I waved, she smiled. Her expression looked like that of feigned delight, but there was no look of recognition on it. I felt slightly disappointed, but at the same time understood that a lot of faces pass through the store and mine was no different from the rest.

I walked past her directly to the lube shelf. Once I located the bodyglide I noticed that they only had the small bottles. Dismayed, I turned and asked, "don't you have any of the bigger bottles?" The woman signaled to a young male attendant of whom I have never seen before. He rummaged around behind the desk for a few seconds and came up with nothing.

Again slightly disappointed, I checked the time and noticed that I had about ten minutes before I should leave. I figured I would walk through the store and kill some time while reaquainting myself with their latex selection. I stopped and looked up at a wall display covered in dildo's, I looked at each one and was reminded of one of my previous posts. While comparing my existing dildo to these new one's I noticed that the male attendant was standing about 5 feet away from me reading a magazine, or at least trying to look that way while making sure that I didn't steal anything. At that moment I became very aware of the fact that I was carrying a backpack..

I made my way over to the back of the store where they keep the boots and some of their cheaper items. On my tiny trek there I noticed that they had replaced a lot of their rubber gear for leather and vynil stuff. As I made a full revolution around the shop I noticed that they had almost completely phased out their latex inventory. In the past they had multiple sections dedicated to rubber, now I could only find a single rack that held latex.
I browsed through it, there was nothing interesting there. As I was leafing through the material I again noticed the guy was uncomfortably watching me. I turned to him, catching a momentary glance before he buried his head back into his magazine.

I asked, "Hey, I remember this place having a lot more latex than they do now."
"Yeah, our inventory comes and goes throughout the year, sometimes we have a lot, sometimes we don't, like right now.

I turned back to the latex selection and saw it was partitioned apart by this layer of clothing that I didn't recognize. I pulled a garment or two out and looked at it. It felt interesting to the touch, it was rubbery yet cushy like a sponge. I kind of liked the different feel that it gave. I thought that it may've been 'raw rubber' which I have only seen online. I again looked to the attendant.

"hey, what is this?"
"it's neoprene.. its-"
"yeah, like wetsuit material."
"exactly."
"cool."

After our short exchange I walked over to the corset section and gave it a look-see. The one's I saw were pretty nice, but nothing to go crazy over. They were made of satin or silk or something. I was thinking how I may get one for my gf in the near-future so I wanted to prepare myself mentally by getting an idea fow how much they cost. I turned over the price-tag and saw that each of them were a bit over 400 dollars. I was shocked, especially cause I got my corset for about 150 and it looked pretty similar to one's I was checking now. Again the guy showed up and I made some small talk with him when a girl came out from behind a blocked off area.
I recognized her, she was the store attendant who helped me with nearly all my latex purchases at purple passion. She looked up and I was expecting nothing at this point, because the previous person didn't recognize me, so this person probably wouldn't either.
When she saw me she immediately looked surprised and said, "Oh wow, you haven't been here in forever!"
"Yeah, I'm back."
"that's cool."
"how've you been?"
"Ok."

then she went back to the closed off portion of the store and I felt validated for having come so many times in the past.

At this point I realized that I should be leaving so I grabbed two bottles of bodyglide and placed them on the counter. The male attendant came to ring me up, I asked of I could use a CC, he said I could.
While waiting for the machine to contact my bank there was an awkward pause. I had almost forgot that I left my mp3 player running and it was quietly blaring music from the earphones resting around my neck.
breaking the uncomfortable silence he asked, "what're you listening to?"
I took a moment to concentrate on what song was playing, "Some old Jungle Brothers."
"cool."
"yeah, I just got an mp3 player recently, so it's just filled with random stuff."
"yeah."

the credit card machine churned to life and he ripped out my receipt and put it in the bag. As he slid my items over to me he said, "ok, I hope you enjoy yourself"
At this moment I figured I'd say something in return, but didn't know what exactly, so I just said, "yeah, hopefully I'll be back a few times before I leave ny this summer."
he looked back and just kind of nodded.

Walking out I was again, as I was often time in the past, surprised at how mundane small talk is. It doesn't matter if you're in a restaurant, super market, or sex shop, small talk is small talk.

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