NYC can be a dangerous place. Especially when it’s hot out. Like today. It’s hot and humid and awful outside. It puts people in a bad mood. Especially people who have to rely on public transportation. Like me. And the large Latina who I’m pretty sure wants to kill me. Here’s the story:
I was coming out of the subway at 137th Street and because I was on my way home from a commercial shoot, I was carrying my tiny rolling suitcase that I use for all of my background gigs…
[So cute, right?]
I’ve also been struggling with a mild case of Post Pilates Paralysis all day, so between the heat, the suitcase and the fact that my legs don’t work, I was not walking at my usual brisk NYC pace. I was doing what I like to call ‘The Ogunquit Saunter’ because that’s the only speed you’re supposed to walk when you’re on vacation and Ogunquit, ME is where my family and I would always stay. Until we started going to Kennebunkport, ME, but ‘The Kennebunk Saunter’ doesn’t have the same ring.
Anyway, as I was trudging up the subway steps I could hear someone making impatient tongue-clicking noises behind me. The stairway was packed and there were tons of people in front of me so there wasn’t a single thing I could do about it. Except maybe run over an old lady, but like I said I was having enough trouble walking on my own and was in no condition to mow down even the frailest of old ladies.
When I finally reached the top of the steps, I quickly dropped my suitcase while simultaneously un-telescoping the handle (I have become a master of this) and proceeded out onto the sidewalk. Because I was on the right side of the staircase and needed to go left, I had to merge with the rest of the stairway traffic. I mustn’t have done a very good job of it because Miss Impatient Tongue-Clicker (who turned out to be an exceptionally large Latina whom I will now call LL for short) gave me the loudest impatient tongue-click I’ve ever heard.
First of all, I don’t know what her problem was. The people in my hood generally operate on only one speed – painfully, deathly slow. On a hot day like this it’s even worse, so she shouldn’t have been surprised by the lack of forward momentum. Unless she doesn’t live in this neighborhood which doesn’t really make sense because I can’t think of any reason why someone would want to come up here if they weren’t headed home to a cheap (yet somehow still overpriced) apartment. In any case, she seemed not to know the Hamilton Heights getting-off-the-subway routine.
LL: (EXTREMELY EXAGGERATED TONGUE CLICK with accompanying sigh. I bet there was also an eye roll, but since she was behind me I don’t know for sure.)
LL tried to get around me, but she had to stop short lest she trip on my adorable little suitcase. She was not pleased.
LL: ‘Scuse me. (Tongue click) GOD. (Then came the dirty look I was waiting for.)
Me: Oh, I’m so sorry. Am I in your way? Next time I’ll try to better anticipate where you’d like to walk.
LL: You talkin’ shit?
Me: No. I’m talking sense. Bitch.
Okay, that didn’t actually happen. But that’s totally what I would’ve said if I’d thought of it earlier. And if I wanted to have my hair and earrings ripped out. Probably. What really happend:
LL: ‘Scuse me. (Tongue click) GOD. (Mildly irritated look.)
Me: (meekly) Sorry.
ran hobbled all the way home.
I ❤ Harlem
Update: It dawned on me that this post might come across as a teensy bit racist. Rest assured, I have (or at least I had) friends of every race, color and creed and I love them all. LL (a moniker I used only because I’m so fond of alliteration) is probably a lovely woman and I would never assume she was a bitch simply because she was a Latina. I assumed she was a bitch because she was being an asshole at the time. I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt and treat everyone the same. For instance, if I saw a woman of color bleeding on sidewalk, I would never pass her by without helping simply because she was a different race than myself. I would walk by because I’m generally very busy and probably wouldn’t care.
Good night everybody.