“You touched me!”

I boarded my 5:35 a.m. bus to the city and about :15 minutes into my ride the woman sitting in front of me lurched her seat back in a violent manner and cracked me in the knee caps. This is an almost (twice) daily occurrence.

We turned off the Garden State Parkway onto the New Jersey Turnpike and the guy sitting next to me suddenly yells out, loud enough for everyone on the bus to hear, “Look. I don’t mind if you use your little computer but you’re MOVING AROUND TOO MUCH. You touched my arm, LIKE, 20 TIMES!” I know what you’re picturing. You’re picturing a milquetoast pencil pushing desk jockey with thick-lensed glasses. A whiny little bitch. But you’re wrong. This was a hulking construction worker with arms like pythons. So I kept my mouth shut and didn’t move a muscle for the remainder of the ride. Hell yeah, I did.

I was stewing in my juices when I left Port Authority, wasn’t watching where I was going and I STEPPED IN VOMIT. That’s right. Some parts of New York are still olde style New York. I stepped in vomit. It used to happen more frequently.

Then I was walking up Madison Avenue at 44th Street and a jogger passed by who wasn’t wearing any shoes. Running barefoot in Manhattan! What a madman! I turned to look at the soles of his feet as he ran by and they were BLACK. No amount of scrubbing would ever get them clean enough for me. This is just minutes after I stepped in vomit and I suddenly imagined it squishing up between my toes. Retch, I did. The very next morning I saw him again and I tried to whip out my cell phone but he was too fast. Now I walk with my cell phone in my hand and the camera on when I walk that stretch of Madison.

* * *

We received the following company-wide email at work:

“The NYC OEM (Office of Emergency Management) has reported that several aircraft will be flying at a very low altitude in the vicinity of the Statue of Liberty and Battery Park at approximately 11:00 a.m. today. This is a planned event that is part of the Fleet Week celebration. There is no cause for alarm.”

My, goodness. It’s been 10 years and this town is still fucked-up over 9/11. Tell me, London, were you still in a nervous state of mind 10 years after the Blitz of 1941? I’ll bet not. I mean no disrespect but it’s time to move on.

27 thoughts on ““You touched me!”

  1. This made me think of this:”the world is very abrasive. I mean, I’m trying to protect myself because, really, there’s these abrasive beatings to be avoided everywhere you look!” — Wally My Dinner With Andre

  2. “…arms like pythons…” Yep! I’d have cringed into my seat corner!As for NYC still jittery – what the heck will people do on Monday when tons of fireworks are lit?

  3. It’s not in our nature to show any sort of discomfiture, even as a massive Stormtrooper Panzer Advance Division appeared to have a foothold in the Channel Islands.

  4. xl: God, I hope that’s not true. The day to day struggle is tough enough without beatings. Dinah: Monday doesn’t count. They’ll see that coming a mile away. looby: it’s call grace under pressure. Wish we (I) had a bit more of it. Ponita: The happy news is that the rest of the day went well. But that doesn’t make for an interesting post.

  5. god i hate Blogger….the link I just posted doesn’t look complete, but if you highlight down through the date stamp, cut and paste into a new window, it works….

  6. Tell me, London, were you still in a nervous state of mind 10 years after the Blitz of 1941?I think we found other things to be nervous about. There is always something isn’t there?For example JZ looks disturbingly like David Cameron from this angle.Sx

  7. Hem: Is this supposed to be a return to our primitive selves? It’s a terrible idea. The running shoe manufacturers must be in a panic.JZ: Thanks for the link. I hate Blogger, too, but I’m in too deep to abandon it. Running without shoes is a fad that will pass.Scarlet: England seems more stoic and psychologically sound to me. We’re such marshmallows here in the States. So easily damaged. The 9/11 families have worn their loss like a skin of suffering that they refuse to shed. A deceased firefighter’s wife remarried and they said all sorts of horrible things about her. Why?

  8. Ah the things you see in NYC. I remember looking out a bus window and seeing a 6’4″ black man walking down the street with an albino snake slung around his neck…..

  9. “Tell me, London, were you still in a nervous state of mind 10 years after the Blitz of 1941?”Nope. Just like people were straight back on the tube on the 8th July. There is a peculiar stoicism in Britain – mostly fuelled by tea, I think.

  10. The construction worker on the bus sounds like he has a Jesus complex.Careful how you concentrate with the camera or you could be stepping into dear knows what. I think doggy dodo may be even worse that upchuck.Must go and smell the roses.

  11. Pat: My powers of concentration are wafer thin. Plus, NYC is sensory overload city. I get distracted very easily and lose my place.Ellie: They sell those posters here in New York. It’s a shame nobody takes the message to heart.IW: Good heavens, you’re right! I’ve corrected it. Better late than never. Long time readers have become accustom to my spelling and grammatical blunders. I consider it part of my blog’s charm.MT: There’s nowhere to go! The bus is always packed. It’s all a part of my daily enjoyment.

  12. Yeah, stepped in vomit recently too. I was at a indoor concert. And didn’t notice it until it was too late =( Apparently the girl who left her mark, didn’t leave the venue immediately. She threw up a second time. 30 minutes later …

  13. I run in organized races of varying lengths and I cannot understand how folks – in those somewhat controlled conditions – run barefoot. On a Manhattan sidewalk? No thanks. That fella is a mobile communicable disease dispenser for crying out loud….although if you ever do get a picture of his blackened soles I look forward to seeing it.

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