Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Breaking the Fast with a thank you and two questions

Dear Man Across the Subway Tracks,

Thank you for checking to see if the man laying next to the pillar on the Uptown C platform was dead this morning. While I was happy you found him alive and kicking, I was sorry to see him doing so in a literal manner and I hope he didn't scare you. I will have to get my Dead Homeless Man radar checked out, as his complete lack of motion and ashen pallor -- in addition to the curiously large puddle of urine circling back to his head, thanks to the unfortunate laws of gravity which apparently dominate the uneven floor work of the MTA platform system -- led me to the mistaken conclusion that he must be deceased. As you quickly found out, this was not the case! I, for one, was surprised at the energy with which he was able to scold you for rousing him from his concrete slumber, and I hope his response doesn't prevent you from future inquiries, unlike the seventeen other people who hopscotched over his puddled head as they exited the subway car.


Passive Yet Concerned Bystander


In other news, I am also breaking my 40 day hiatus to pose a question:

Is it a sign of codependence, or merely mental instability, that while M. has been gone on his four day trip Back Home, I've found myself going to extraordinary lengths for Personal Safety -- including drying my hands for twenty extra seconds before wincingly unplugging the Christmas tree, rather than my usual haphazard yank; placing both feet in the tub before closing the window in the shower, rather than my typical three-toed balancing reach; and avoiding altogether the need to replace the burnt out overhead light bulb in the entryway, rather than avoiding it only for a day or three -- all in the name of avoiding the electrocution, subdural hematoma, or broken neck that would result in me laying dead on the floor for three days before M. came home to find my unfortunate remains?


If, hypothetically, it's Christmas night and you're a gay white man who goes to see a movie made by other gay white men based on a musical made by gay white men celebrating young black women, and then after the movie you get gaybashed by two young black women after you ask them to sit down so you can watch the movie credits, does that count as ironic, sad, or just decidedly unChristmasy?

Friday, November 17, 2006

But I Can't

Hypothetically, a complimentary physical fitness assessment thrown in in addition to one's complimentary workout training session should be both motivating and inspiring.

Then again, hypothetically, one should also be able to pull off more than ten little weakling push-ups.

Also, upon closer inspection, my gym appears to carry the sorry burden of catering to neither the young urban muscled horndog set nor the fifty- and sixty year old retiree set, but instead to a peculiar hybrid of the two, resulting in much leering and staring towards innocent and awkward young specimens like myself by an unsavory group of muscularly flaccid horndog retirees. One of whom looks like David Koresh, and whom I caught peeking at me in my shower from behind his own shower wall. But if creepy is the price of beauty, count me in. For now.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Working out; or, It Might Not Be

I'm happy to report that I went to the gym not only on Saturday, but also on Sunday. And actually enjoyed myself. I started getting more comfortable with the layout. I started remembering to take a shower towel off the front desk when I first came in, and not after I'd already put everything in my locker. I figured out that eliptical machines are actually made for dancing, and I figured out which eliptical machines are stationed in front of ESPN and which ones are in front of VH1. I showered publicly in the rather public showers, and was both relieved and disappointed to find that My Gym is evidently frequented less by the young urban muscled horndogs that seem to populate everyone else's gym, and more by the fifty- and sixty year old retiree set. And at the end of my second session, right before engaging in my second 100 Daily Sit-Ups routine, I tore my chest open on the machine that grows your pectoral muscles, sending my weak little arms shooting into the middle of the Tae-Bo class on the other side of the gym.

If I had any hope of ever straightening my arms again, I'd totally go back for a third session.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Appreciation, Part III

Dear Hateful, Spiteful, Miserable Woman Behind Me at Rite-Aid Ten Minutes Ago:

Well, I’ve been beat out at my own game once again. Imagine my glee as I stepped off the subway this evening after forty-five minutes of completely unscathed public transit use. My high but misguided spirits carried me right into the drugstore to purchase a padlock for the gym locker I thought I might use tomorrow morning during my maiden voyage to the Bally’s Sports Club I joined earlier this week in a clear fit of mental instability. Again, a relatively painless excursion into what is, typically, perhaps one of the most excruciatingly crowded and poorly managed Rite-Aids in the greater metropolitan area.

Then came you. Muffled at first, as I still had my earphones tucked into my ears despite the fact that Cassie was through singing “Me & U”, yet urgently loud enough to secure my attention.

“Separate lines,” you hissed, in your indiscernible Eastern European accent, your pasty features book-ended by a set of white earphones identical to my own..

“Hmm?” I smiled dreamily, assuming I’d misheard your innocent query as to where I’d purchased my new, price tagless fall jacket.

“Separate lines,” you gurgled, in a whining plea. “I live here, I know how it works. Separate lines.”

You’ll recall my peaceful but firm tone as I suggested to you that there was really nowhere for the 2nd line to form, as the cashier was planted squarely in front of the Entenmann’s discount baked goods display.

When you squawked that fine, you’d stand there if nobody else wanted to, you’ll recall that I then grasped the shiny red down vest of the innocent young woman in front of me and loudly, perhaps owing in part to my earphones, suggested to her, “You’re in that line, right? Right??”

You may then recall, though surely your vision was stymied by the smoke flowing from your nostrils, that the young woman politely conferred with the customers in front of her and then meekly stepped over to the 2nd cashier, while the customers in the 3rd, less confusing line simply stared at both you and I like we were part of some sort of shrieky, inpatient, earphone wearing, sundry purchasing clique.

I turned back to the front of the line and tried ignoring you, resolved that I would not let Another Long Week be capped off by you and your adorably inappropriate antics, but then you took the game up a notch by trumpeting over my shoulder to the cashier, “SEPARATE LINES, RIGHT? SEPARATE LINES?”

Clearly caught off guard, the cashier confirmed your assertion. Having removed my earphones, I distinctly heard the scraping of your claws on the linoleum behind me as you prepared to circumvent your fellow paying customers by line-hopping.

And that’s where you had me. That’s where I lost. That is where I lost all sense of decency, hurled myself in front of the cashier – past the older woman who’d been waiting patiently with her six-pack and enormous bottle of Tide, past the young man whose poor choice of lines had landed him behind the woman who was now on her thirteenth credit card swipe at the 1st cashier, past all of the unfortunate and lost and innocent souls who have ever waited patiently in lines across the world across centuries across mere boundaries of time and space – and slammed my padlock down on the counter.

“Separate lines,” you whinnied once again, perhaps failing to notice my embarrassing act of impulsive public disregard. My brain started to boil. “I live here,” you continued like some sort of otherworldly parrot of Satan, “I know.”

That’s when my head exploded twenty yards into the cosmetics aisle and my hands plunged into your chest and ripped out your filthy, inpatient Slavic heart as I screamed through my disembodied set of lips which were now sailing overhead towards Soaps & Shampoos, “YEAH, I LIVE HERE, TOO. WE ALL LIVE HERE.

Time froze. People stared. A woman in line 3 stared at me with a look of either abject fear, concerned pity or, perhaps, proud solidarity, as if to say, “I, too, live here.”

I paid for my lock and left, unable to even give the nice cashier a discernible response when he asked me How I Was. “Grawd,” I slurred back at him, swiping my lock into my bag and reeling dizzily out the door.

You’ll be happy to know that it’s now been thirty minutes and my skin still feels like it’s going to fly off my white hot skeleton and go find an innocent basket of kittens to smother. You probably couldn’t tell by the twitch in my eye that I had only recently recovered from the second Migraine in as many days. No thanks to you, I have a suspicious feeling I’ll shortly be moving into number three!

On behalf of everyone else who waited patiently, albeit foolishly, in line, half of whom at this very minute are regaling their families with stories about the crazy Eastern European couple fighting in line at the drugstore, and the other half of whom simply hate me, thanks. Thanks for making sure that, once again, I didn’t make it through a full week in New York City without wishing that I could peel my eyeballs off and go live in the sewer rather than contend with the crazy people. I have a feeling I know who put you up to this, so you’ll be kind enough to extend my thanks to them as well. Maybe the four of us can all get together and be absolutely, indefinably, inexcusably, 100% unconcerned with humanity.

I’m actually super happy that you live here, because now after I go to the gym and get big and strong, it will be that much easier to pick you up by your earphoned ears and toss you in front of one of the Grey Line buses bombing down 8th Avenue! Ha ha! It will be fun!

See you never,

And seriously hope you choke on, or are mortally allergic to, or terribly disfigured by, whatever it is you bought tonight,


Friday, November 03, 2006

Appreciation, Part II

Dear Upper East Side Girl with the Hacking Cough and Obese Nurse's Aide who Couldn't Stop Sucking Her Teeth:

I'd like to thank you both for participating in the Who Can Ruin a Subway Ride the Best contest, and to announce that, after careful consideration, I've had to declare a two-way win.

Hacking Cough, I have to hand it to you -- and could do so quite literally, since your hands are perfectly clean, seeing as you refused to use them to cover your privileged horse-like maw when you hacked and coughed every three minutes like clockwork all the way from Mosholu Parkway to 86th Street -- the cards were not stacked in your favor, seeing as I was half asleep upon coming off of an eleven hour workday at the end of a Very Long Week. Persistence paid off, though, and by the fifth unnervingly loud cough you had my full attention. I hope you didn't take my sudden sidewards glares as indicative of some sort of congenital tic on my part, or of some sort of surreptitious enamored gawking. What I was trying to convey, silently, was Please stop that, you're rupturing my gall bladder. I especially liked how, given the late hour and the location of the subway station, you clearly work in a medical setting and, given your alarmingly tasteless but clearly overpriced gold purse, you clearly have some money to burn, yet you still managed to convey absolutely zero sense of public decorum and/or health awareness by coughing directly and forcefully into the middle of the subway car. I certainly ate crow when I assumed that the poor man entering the subway car and sitting directly next to you might prod you to cough more gently and perhaps into the safety of your coatsleeve - - I'm sure he'll be regretting his seat choice when he wakes up tomorrow morning with a case of tuberculosis, ebola and whatever else it was that was so clearly causing your uncontrollable cough. Or was it just a cold? And are you just an inconsiderate ass wad?

And Tooth Sucker.....dear, large, sleepy Tooth Sucker. I have to apologize to you as well, as I fear my stares in your direction were only half as guarded as the ones I shot towards the Cougher. It's just that you were sitting directly across from me and, well, I was honestly alarmed that anyone could possibly have both the stamina and the incredible public disregard to suck their teeth for a solid twenty minutes. You probably noticed that my first five minutes of staring were focused mainly around your mouth, as I tried to discern what you could possibly be eating that would cause such an oral fuss! Was it bubble gum? Peanut butter? Taffy? I mean, seriously, my last guess would have been your teeth! Guess I lost that one! The next fifteen minutes -- the ones that weren't already reserved for the Hacker, that is -- were really just me trying to gently communicate to you via telepathy several variations of the same basic message: Please stop sucking your godforsaken motherfucking hell-rotting teeth before I throw both of us through the emergency window directly behind your enormous and sleepy tooth-sucking head.

Anyways, it was a toss-up, so you both win. I'm still trying to decide on an appropriate prize but, for what it's worth, the lingering headache and foul temper you sent me off with look like they're going to last me well into tomorrow morning. TGIF!

Hope your teeth and vocal cords fall out,


Sunday, October 29, 2006

The look of love

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Dear Everyone Who's Walked Behind Me At Any Point During the Past Five Days and Neglected to Point Out The Price Tag Hanging Off the Middle of the Back of My New Fall Jacket,




And yes, I did pay $49.99. And no, I'm not telling you where.

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