Last night, I saw a Guido.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t my first time. As someone who has seen many before, I spotted him quite easily. Hair styled into loud, angry spikes protruding from all sides of his head, skin tanned a deep orange, electronic communication device in hand.
Cat and I were standing outside of a local bar, sharing a cigarette, waiting for a friend who was still inside doing her “goodbye” rounds when we spotted him. He was standing at the curb, toes dangling off the edge, a large PDA/cellular phone prominently displayed in one hand. It appeared that he was waiting for someone arriving by way of automobile.
I do a double take.
“Hey, that guy looks familiar,” I mumble to Cat out of the side of my mouth.
She looks, “Oh, wait, I know him!”
She trots over and breaks his focused gaze on the approaching traffic. After taking a moment to register her, his eyes light up in recognition. “Oh! Hey!”
I stand at the side and make no move to approach as they exchange obligatory “I haven’t seen you in a while” banter.
“Did you go on vacation somewhere? You’re so tanned!” Cat comments on his skin burnt a comical, almost alien hue—not quite orange, not quite red with a hint of charcoal grey thrown in.
“Oh, no, I went tanning,” he points down the street to the tanning salon on the next block. “I go twice a week.”
I emit a small squeak and quickly purse my lips.
Cat, in a show of superhuman restraint, manages to smile and spurt a convincing, “Oh really? That’s cool,” before asking, “So, where are you going? What are you so dressed up for?” She motions to his white pinstriped blazer over white wifebeater, white creased slacks and white sneakers—offsetting the bright orange of his skin. Two large jeweled studs adorn each ear.
“I always dress like this,” he says with a small arm flourish. “I’m just waiting for my homegirl, you know? She pickin’ me up.”
“Oh,” Cat nods thoughtfully.
“Yo, you should gimme your number!” he says suddenly. “I’ma be in a movie!”
“Oh, really? What kind of movie?” she asks.
“It’s some indie flick. It’s gonna be at Sundance.”
“Oh, so are you, like, an extra or something?”
“Nah yo! I’m the star!” He gestures to himself with another flourish.
I snort loudly and immediately burst into a fit of coughs. They turn to look at me. I raise my hand in the universal sign for “I’m okay.”
Jenny finally comes out of the bar and interrupts my late-night showing of “I Dream of Guido” and we start to saunter towards the car.
“Holy shit,” I say to Cat, exhaling for the first time since she started her conversation with him. “I’ve never seen a more Guido Guido in my life.”
She shrugs and manages a chuckle.
But really, so what? I saw a Guido. They run rampant through the five boroughs and most parts of
Because I realized why he looked so familiar midway through Cat’s conversation with him—he went to my church.
My “Guido” was 100 percent Korean.-L