Storytime

I’m not sure I feel much like talking about life right now, so I’ll try something else.

Perhaps some little stories about living in such a strange place.

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One time Billy and I were sitting on the A train waiting for it to go. Since we live at the last stop, there are often two trains in the station. I think the idea is that when the incoming one parks itself, the one already in the station leaves for the long journey to the other side of the world.

This one afternoon the trains were a little backed up (when aren’t they?) and two trains were in the station for a while. We watched as a homeless man across the way in the other train stand up. We watched as he shoved a cup down his sweats for a solid minute. Then we watched as he proceeded to walk to the open doorway. He stood there for a moment, and then twisted his wrist a few lackadaisical times to empty the fresh urine. It splashed all over and my resolve to never let anything touch the ground ever was renewed.

Another time Billy and I were standing by the water feature in Lincoln Square killing time before a concert of his. Billy stops me mid-sentence to ask if that dude standing over there was Ben Stiller.

It was.

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This other time Billy and I were down at 59th waiting for a train to come so we could head home. We’d had a late night having fun. It was plenty delayed. But it was alright because we were having lots of fun watching the rats play.

I guess it was mating season because there were a lot more than usual down on the tracks and they were all flirting. We watched as they chased each other and jumped around. Anyway we’d both just left Billy’s opera, which had a pizza dinner and candy bars afterwards for the performers, which means that we both had all our pockets stuffed full of snickers. Billy bit one in half (“for the smell” he assured me) and promptly threw it down to the tracks.

Of course at that moment the train comes slowly ambling down from the other end. We thought it was a wasted half a snickers. But our luck was strong! A cute little mousy waddled out from a hole, slowly working his way to the candy. We were cheering him on, hoping he’d reach the bar before the train reached him. He was taking his sweet time, smelling trash wad after misc. garbage piece. The train was so close!

With sweet victory he snatched up the treat with a triumphant raise of head – just as the train passed over him. Our souls were lifted. (Don’t worry, he was safe – probably).

A few times now we’ve been eating our breakfast and I’ll look out our kitchen window and see a hand with a smoking cigarette being flicked out of the bathroom window of our neighbors approximately six feet across from us. What better time to take a smoke break than your morning dump, right?

All the time both of us are meeting and making the coolest friends with the best kinds of people. Everyone is so caring and genuinely good people. I hope to be as great as them.

There was one time where Billy and I were walking around Midtown on my lunch break. We wandered on over to Bryant Park and people were handing out free flowers! Then we walked down the road in another direction and a lady was handing out free cups of yummy yogurt!! And if this story gets any better it’s when she said “you’re not limited to just one.”

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We won’t talk about all the times we went to Trader Joe’s and left with just bags of junk food.

One time we spent $40 on two hamburgers and a bucket of fries. And it was worth every penny.

There’s all the times that Billy and I have seen all sorts of amazing concerts and shows in really fancy places for free because of his profession and being in this city.

It’s about this time of year where the weather is warming up, the trees are leafy and happy and everything looks beautiful – but the stench awakens. See, the warm weather that makes the city look so pretty heats up all the garbage and urine pools and sweaty bodies and dog poos and makes the city smell horrible.

Oh and one time we saw Tom Hanks. Don’t forget about that time. He was just right outside Juilliard walking down a red carpet for his movie Sully. We watched it after that.

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One time I had a really perfect afternoon. I left work for a brief milk run (for the coffee drinkers). I somehow ended up with a giant Culture chocolate chip cookie in my hand, sitting down in the awesome springtime weather in Bryant Park, listening to some of my favorite music. I just sat there and couldn’t get over how perfect that moment was.

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All the time there’s a crazy scary thing that gets shared on the news (garbage bomb, drunk driver, shooting). And every time we hear about it, not from the news, but from my crazy worried family texting us and asking if we’re dead.

We’re not.

I can’t ever say that I love or hate living here. Because every time I start to say one or the other, the untruthfulness of it stops me. Living here is simply – complex. And I do have to say I love that about New York.

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