Just sitting there, stair’ing

After watching a couple have a nervous breakdown and try to take out the people around them, simply because they didn’t realize they’d have to push to get off the subway… just like everyone else does… (In fact, the woman almost slugged the guy in front of her, but he moved out of the way just in time)

Anyways. That’s not even the strangest part of the morning.

One thing I always get a kick out of NYC’ers is how quickly they can change in what they’re doing to avoid dealing with the “elephant in the room”. How easily a bunch of NY’ers would walk past a naked cowboy, or a homeless person peeing in the corner of the street. Or like this morning… A very very very large man sitting on the subway stairs leading off the platform.

He just sat there, staring, on the stairs. Not saying a word. And I watched the seas part, and people walk around him lik eit was no big deal. Nobody asked him to move. Nobody said a word. It was as if he was simply a pole in their way. In some ways, I’m not enough of a NY’er. I didn’t walk up those steps, mostly because the look in his eye reminded me of a caged animal, of someone who you knew was utterly and completely at the end of their rope, and honestly, I didn’t want to put my life that close to someone I couldn’t connect with at all. But people walked past him, and as I walked to the next set of stairs, I watched him. His eyes never moved, never wavered, never blinked. 

Sometimes I really get shivers at how much loss there is here in the city… 


Awkward statements

I work in a kind of infamous building. It’s called the Daily News Building. The only reason why anyone may know what it is is because of a little movie called “Superman”. That’s right… I work at the Daily Planet. Anyways. Because of that, we have a lot of security downstairs, and some of them are friendly, some are rude, and some are just plain odd… There’s  new guy though… and as I was swiping in to go through the turnstyle, heading back upstairs with my essential “it’s been a long day” afternoon coffee, one of the security “bouncer” guys, said to me. “Enjoy!”

It completely threw me off guard. I stopped looked at him, and cocked my head to the side.
“I’m going back upstairs to work… do you mean enjoy that, or the coffee in my hand?” I asked him.
“Oh, I thought you were a tourist,” he replied, and half-smiled awkwardly.
“Oh? We have tourists?” I asked back as I finished finally walking through the turnstile.
“Well, yeah… over there,” he said, and pointed out a couple of tourists who were in fact milling around the giant globe that’s in the lobby. “But I guess they don’t go upstairs…” He was looking very contemplative at that point, so I just grinned and let out a confused laugh.
“Not unless there’s some ride somewhere in this building I don’t know about… maybe like a superman ride?” I responded… now trapped in this ridiculous conversation.
“Why would there be a superman ride?”
“Because that’s why people come in here… It’s like a landmark from the movie superman,” I responded, now desperately trying to figure out an escape route. I had things to do upstairs, my coffee was sitting limp in my hand, and I could feel the wonderful warm weight, and all I wanted to do was inject the caffeine into my system as quickly as possible.
“Really?” He responded. Oh no, I was trapped… My head spun… I tripped over my thoughts, and finally I figured go with my best bet, put the coffee up to my mouth, took a sip, and nodded… He seemed to think that was enough, and he grinned back at me, and then said…”Enjoy!”

I did not ask him what I was supposed to enjoy…

Note to self.

Never respond back, even if you’re taken back…

Overheard: Look up

This is an older memory, but it’s a great one. A couple of weeks ago I was standing at the northwest corner of 34th and 5th avenue, waiting for the little walking man to let me cross the busy avenue when I heard a kid screaming at his father to take him to the Empire State Building… Here’s how it went.

“DADDY!!! I WANT TO SEE IT! PLEASE!” the little child screamed as I looked over and saw him tugging on his father’s shirt. His father had his nose buried in a map of Manhattan, oblivious to the screams. (on a side note, I always wonder if once you become a parent if you lose part of your ability to hear children’s whimperings)

“It’s around here somewhere son. Hold on, I know the empire state building is here somewhere,” the father responded, nose still buried in the map.

“But daddy! I want to see the Empire state building, why can’t I see it?” The kid kept pestering his father.

“I don’t know, I don’t know. I can’t find it on the map. I think we’re close, but I don’t know where the empire state building is. Why can’t I find the empire state building,” the father said as he finally took his face away from the map. At that exact moment, after he asked himself that absurd question, a lovely New Yorker walked right at him, and grunted.

“Why don’t you take your damn nose out of the map and look up!”

Funny point to this… they were literally standing in front of it. I don’t know if they thought in their mind that they’d see the spire as they walked towards it… or what, but yes… all they had to do, standing on that corner was look straight up…