April 25, 2007
Normally I’m treated like a rock star. A rock star named ‘Bruni.’ You wouldn’t believe the attention I get, walking down the street. Small children see me coming and they laugh and wave and call my name, “Bruni!” Teenagers smile too, happy to see me even though I didn’t do anything. Even adults, for the most part, brighten up when my august presence comes along, as long as I smile or nod their way.
But I can’t understand why every now and then, just every now and then, a man or a woman insists on hissing at me.
It’s a very rude sound, the kind you’d hear from an audience at the end of a bad play or movie — one tone away from a ‘boooo!’ How can they be judging my performance? I didn’t do anything besides walk down the street, a feat many of their compatriots find delightful, I might add.
It gets worse. Whenever I turn my celebrated visage towards one of these hissers, they start flicking a hand out at me like I’m a bug or something. I know an eff-off gesture when I see one. Now, when I hear a hiss, I don’t even look.
They’ve heard of me, though, these hissers. If I don’t acknowledge their criticism at first hiss, they call my name, ‘Bruni!’ When I look over it never fails; the gesticulations continue. No manners, none atall.
Whatever these people want from me, I’m not interested. Now I only break my stride if I hear a child’s voice acknowledging my celebrity in an appropriate tone of adoration. They receive the beneficence of my attention. Those who hiss need not apply. G.