Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Magic Hobo: Wishful Thinking

New York can be magical.

Even the homeless people have their magic, if they are jolly and singing beautiful songs, or shaking their change cup with gusto and rhythm.

You even have the opportunity to give them a dollar and feel like a modern-day hero.

Just found this by Google Searching: "Magic Hobo".

It is all good, of course, unless you are being accosted by them. Then it can be scary. Last year my friend was deliberately struck in the head by a homeless man- and I think she is suffering from PTSD. Also, I just remembered, once an old man with a walking staff and a Santa Clause beard was giving an angry, booming speech in the subway about how the "Bible clearly states that all women are EVIL". And then he just stopped and stood next to me, looking right at my face, and slowly and maniacally laughing.

Wow, I had forgotten all about that until writing this.

***

Anyway, less frighteningly, the other day during my lunch break I was trying to walk really fast, not sure whether I had enough time to make it up and back to the old lady bra store shop was almost 20 blocks away (I didn't), but I was weaving in and out of people and trying to walk non-stop without having to waste any time stalling behind wheelchairs or strollers, and all of a sudden I was hit with a piece of bread. Because a homeless lady threw it at me.

I had seen her ahead of me while I walked, she was sitting by a building and talking to some faraway sparrows near the curb. She was pointing at them, "EAT little birds! I want you to eat that bread! See it over there, bird?" as she pointed to a piece of crust that they were ignoring.

Then I walked in her path and she threw a piece of bread at me- trying to feed the birds I guess -or maybe she was just taking out some old anger at her mother on me- probably not though, and I didn't really waste much time being confused or annoyed because I should have seen it coming: Never get in between a homeless lady and her birds.

I brushed the stale crumbs off the side of my coat, and moved on, never making it to the store.



***

Then later, just because the Universe really didn't want me to forget that there are many unhinged hobos all around me, as I was walking through Columbia University area there was an all-out brawl between three homeless men. I was 2 feet away and walking past them right when one burned the other with his cigarette, and as he screamed in pain, the third man hit him really hard on the back with a granny cart.

***

And then yesterday on the subway a man uttered high pitched screams over and over again, like a metronome from Hell, just screaming and staring at the ceiling, over and over and over. Then before he exited the train, he looked straight at a crying child and yelled in some sort of foreign or maybe devil-based language, eyes bulging, before getting off the train and shuffling around the platform.

***

"Don't get too comfortable" said the Universe with a sigh, "not all hobos sweetly call out 'tuppence a bag' like only a sooty old cockney grandmother could.... Be careful."


"...Fine, Universe"


***

(PS:

)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Fake Going Out

I don't make New Year's Resolutions anymore, because mediocrity seems to have become the name of my game, but I DID make a sort of pact with my roommate: To "Go Out More in 2013".

Or "Going Out in 2013". Or more like "Yeaaa, Goin' Out in Two Thousand Thirteeeeeeeeen. Yeaaa". "YEA being in your twenties. YEAAAA!"



And by out I mean like outtttt*, like out to BARS, where 20-somethings are supposed to go and be young and beautiful and charming and drunk. And talk to strangers who you hope are sane. And maybe dance around in tight, crowded areas. And lose your voice and take a 40 dollar cab home at 3:45 am, then eat a whole pizza around 4:20 am, only to not be able to sleep at all because alcohol is cruel, and then the rest of the next day is a miserable daze but at least you went out! At least you painted the town and barstool in red nailpolish. No, that never happens. There are no barstools, they are a precious, rare commodity.

At least you are living it up and putting yourself out therrrre. Woooooooo

Some people actually go outtttt on Friday and Saturday nights. They are very celebratory 20-somethings and I am supposed to emulate them for the 'least amount of regrets'.

(*Actually just regular-going-out is ok too. Like maybe 10pm -1am. That counted in the pact as also "going out". We didn't set any strict guidelines, but it was understood. The point is to just go out somewhere other than Washington Heights, where only elderly musicians and less-wealthy Yuppies with babies go out.)

Well anyway, that was the general idea. Not a resolution. But a consequence-less pact. Unless you count a potential consequence being: waking up at 45 years old and being like.... wait.... how did we get here? Should I NOT have spent endless wonderful, relaxing nights on my couch watching The New Girl and Adventuretime and Bravo TV? Should I start going to bars now or something? Is it too late? Oh man, I have to feed my turtle.

Whatever. I am not afraid of being 45, because in the very least, I will be an expert on the tv culture of the past 20 years. 2013-2033.



Wait, I want to talk about how well my pact is going:

--WELL, I met my friend Sandy for dinnnnerrrrrr who I hadn't seen in a few months. It was super fun. I had 2 glasses of winnnne. We talked about how she lost her nice earring, I heard all about her newish boyfriend, and the horrible child in her kindergarten class that they had to expel earlier that day! Ok THEN after dinner we went to a bar. Near lincoln center where the elderly theater goers roam. YEA MAN. GOING OUT IN 2013!!!! And we found a barstool I had like another drink and that was one drink too many and then I went home by 11.

--Um, this past Friday I went to dinner with my roommate. I ate one oyster. I had only one glass of wine, because I had had a half a glass at my work's "happy hour". I also got scallops. They were so good and so expensive. Then we took the 1 train home and there was some investigation on the trains, so we had to get out in Harlem and get a cab home. We got home at like 9 pm. Ugh.

--This Saturday I actually went to my friend's show at 5:30, then I hung out in a bar with lots of people/friends until like... 10 pm and then I went home. Phew. Because I was freaking tired! I had three glasses of wine and I was immobile on my couch all Sunday.

--I had dinner with my friend at a restaurant.

--I had dinner with my best gay friend at a restaurant.

--I had dinner with a depressed friend at a restaurant.

--I had an after work happy hour with my may-as-well-be-married friend. I ate a lot of her gourmet french fries.

--I went to DC and visited friends from college, and we went out for dinner one night at like 10 pm. Then I slept on an air mattress in a Law School Dorm. Then the next night I think we stayed out til 1 or something. We tried to convince one friend its ok if she is a lesbian. It really is.

--I met another friend for dinner at our usual dinner spot.

--I went to a SUPERBOWL PARTY, at a straight male stranger's house, (well, friend of a friend of a friend= stranger) and stood the whole time because nobody would let me sit on the couch. But the buffalo chicken dip was so good.

--I went out on a 4-single-girls Valentine's Day dinner. We talked about Lena Dunham.

--I was in some 10 minute play in Brooklyn and then coerced into getting a drink next door afterwards with some ex-military men who were very boring. But I was with my roommate and we were like... "....Going out 2013!?" And then I got home at like 12:30 on a work night and I was so stressed.

--I went out for my birthday til like... 12:30. Well, then we got nachos.

--I met my friend for dinner, but then she didn't even have dinner, because I was unclear, so we had drinks and I had an appetizer, and then the french waiter basically kicked us out because we weren't having dinner. But then we went to another bar and found a table and met up with more old friends, and that was actually a fun night. Got home at like 11 pm. Yesssss.

--My roommate and I tried out this bar Coogan's in Washington heights because like, we hoped it was normal and wanted a sort of magical, neighborhood pub. Just like in the movies. But it was just filled with old, sad men. And also, we accidentally witnessed some asshole who we thought was a bouncer, almost trip this man with crutches trying to exit the establishment. We thought maybe it was a joke while it was happening? They were old friends? It wasn't. They weren't. We got home at... 8:30.

--Oh. uh UM hello how could I forget. I went to a gallerryyy opening with a friend/coworker. And like, looked at ART. And then we went to this bar that felt like a secret society where everyone knew each other except us (right under the new Google headquarters. Maybe thats why). Then we pounced on the barstool seats of people who were paying/leaving, so we could feel better about nobody knowing us and just stare at the bartenders. Then we got lacerations on our fingers as we tried to find hooks under the bar to hang our bags, but instead of hooks all there was was raw metal meeting the underside of the bar. How long do tetanus shots last? ...But they had free coat checking which was great. Got home by 10:30. This was a work night. I know I am really really crazy and fun!

--I probably went out to at least like, 5-7 more dinners with friends. In public. In public spaces and like out in the world, and had drinks and laughed and talked.



So, I feel like the pact is going ..........alright ....so far......