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July 15, 2010

>New York has always been a city where moments are memorialized. Even with cliched expectation, the moments that occur on this island are unique and stick with you. You can sit, stare at your computer screen and wonder why I would make this up, or you can simply understand that the things happen here. Just the things. Maybe the kindness is met with greater shock when juxtaposed against the harsh reality and rapid-fire pace that is daily life, but there is no mistaking these flashes in time for what they are.

This morning it rained. I’m sorry, it wasn’t rain, the sky got stabbed and unleashed its pain onto the city. I was walking home from my boyfriend’s at about 9:30 am when this happened. I refused an umbrella, knowing that in ten minutes I would be home, where dry clothes awaited me. Mistake. If the sloshing noises my shoes were making weren’t enough I’d have directed you towards my shirt, a light heather grey American Apparel t-shirt (don’t pretend you don’t have the same one in your closet) turned dark grey and somewhere between the spin and rinse cycle. Still not convinced? The amount of water in my hair could have washed the dishes in your sink (yes, your sink, all of those dishes). So I stopped in the supermarket to pick up a dozen eggs and some respite and tried to avoid all of the long stares. Does everyone have an umbrella? Apparently. Well, halfway from the produce to the dairy and five steps from frostbite I found a roll of paper towels in my face and a Proactiv “before” photo of a boy stared me back. “You’re going to get so sick. Here”, he handed me the roll. I laughed and explained that I was only two blocks from home, but he said, “No big deal, now my good deed for the day is done, I can chill.” Cool man. Cool.

Sunday was a bad day. The kind of bad where you have to stop ten blocks from your destination to make sure you’re done crying in time. The kind of bad where you go home to your parents’. So I did. I rode the A train up to 175th st to meet my family at the George Washington Bridge, but the ride up was slow and my head was in what can be affectionately called “the shitty place”, so I was torturing myself. You know when a song comes on your ipod and you have that moment where you think, “this is going to make me sad, I should turn it off” and then you elect not to, but instead to listen to the whole album and cry? Well I did that. Yes, on the A train to Washington Heights. I have a thing with crying on the subway, there’s something about the impersonal nature of a subway car that makes it easy to let myself go and just silently weep about whatever is bothering me. I recognize that this is sick and ass-backwards, but sometimes that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. So anyway, there I am wedged in the third seat between the older hispanic woman with bright red nails and lipstick and yellow terrycloth pants and the two teenagers whose knees are bumping up against mine, and I’m crying. I’ve pulled my hat down and have my hands in my lap and I’m listening to the sad-times music and I’m just dripping with tears, I mean they’re landing all over my shorts and I’m trying to focus my eyes on my sneakers, but it’s just blurry and I’m a wreck. And all of a sudden, the older, hispanic woman with bright red nails and lipstick and yellow terrycloth pants puts her hand on my leg, just above my knee and looks at me with this *look* like, “honey, I know, it’s okay” and she keeps her hand there and is really lightly patting my leg, not in a pedophile kind of way, but in a the way that that loving, nurturing, hispanic aunt that I don’t have would do, and then go over to the house of the boy who made you feel that way and scream at him in threatening Spanish until he hung his head like a sad beagle. When I got off the train I had stopped crying, turned the music off, and pulled the headphones out of my ears, and I looked her right in the eyes and said, “thank you.”
About an hour ago I was walking up the steps to unlock the door to my apartment building when I heard someone yelling behind me, it was a homeless man. As his unkempt grey-ish hair whipped in the wind (okay fine, there is absolutely no breeze, who am I to romanticize this moment), he looked at me and yelled, “How the hell do you people afford these apartments? What does this place cost you? Ten million dollars a month, right?” To which I responded, “Umm, not quite” and he said, “Are you all doctors and lawyers? What kind of job do you have that you can afford to live here?” And I looked behind me, as I was putting the key in the lock, and said, “Not a good enough one. Bye.” My apartment might as well cost $10,000,000 a month right now, it feels like it does when I’m making $0 a day.
And now, my friends, back to Patti Smith’s life, because it’s distracting me from my own. 
2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2010 4:32 AM

    >I'm really sorry you've been going through a rough patch. It's always nice when strangers reach out and do what they can.I've also cried on subways before, although I tend to hate crying in public, even if it is an impersonal sort of space.You have a great way with words, I like your writing. I'll be back.

  2. July 15, 2010 10:59 PM

    >You said "that's the way the cookie crumbles."That is all.YEAH CRUMBLING COOKIE!

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