So, life has been busy.
The mornings all start relatively the same – get woken up by NPR, shower, go back to bed, ride the train to work.
If I get a seat when I switch to the express, I relax, watch a video on my iPod or read or do a crossword while listening to This American Life, reflecting on how interesting people are and how nice it is to glimpse the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge every day on my commute
If I do not get a seat, I sigh and try to signal to the people in my jurisdiction of seats that I’m frail. If nobody gets off at Canal Street I begin to resent them for a) not working closer to their house, b) not knowing Who I Am, and c) being so smug about already having a seat. If nobody gets off at Union Street I begin to burn with sullenness and remember that this is why I never believe guys who say they believe in chivalry because clearly they are frauds. I’ll finally get a seat at Herald Square and try to regain some of my bon vivantitude.
Monday I succumbed to the eye contact and “Are you a New Yorker?” pitch of a guy promoting a new salon (I’m such an easy mark). I heard him out and laughed at his jokes, so when I had to tell him I was doing a year of service and couldn’t afford 80% off a ridiculous sum, he said he could let me have the whole salon package for $32, which provided it didn’t end with me being dumped into the East River, was actually a good deal. Then “for being such a laugher” he gave me two free tickets to a comedy show on Thursdays. Made a hair appointment for Wednesday, went to choir, discovered I have actually made a choir friend to ride the subway with. Life is good.
Tuesday I noticed that none of my coworkers say hi to me when I enter the office and they’re already working. I may no longer announce my presence like I did in preschool – “Hi, it’s me! It’s MKP!!” but I like to think some of that enthusiasm and charisma of those early days still presages my entrance. I sulk about this until someone actually does say hi to me, then I get annoyed at being interrupted. Go to a Mentor-mentee program introduction dinner at Dos Caminos and eat chips and salsa, plantain empanadas, taco salad, mole enchiladas and sample 8 different desserts one of which was dipping things in chocolate. Really felt like I could make a difference in this organization as a mentor. For example, I can teach inner city youth that when the waitress brings over 8 different desserts, don’t fill up on the fondue right off the bat – try the giant slab of chocolate cake or the pumpkin cake or the apple empanada first. And no, that’s not green tea ice cream. This is a Mexican restaurant. It’s pistachio. Don’t make the same mistakes I made.
Wednesday I decide that maybe the problem is me, and I should greet all my coworkers when I come in, get the day off on the right foot. But I stop for a commiserating “Wednesday is awful” Dunkin Donuts run and the guy mishears “one orange frosted and one pink” as “one pumpkin and one plain,” so I have to explain I don’t want the one that tastes like pumpkin, I want the one that looks like it ought to taste like pumpkin, and then I want a pink one, which is the opposite of plain. So when I finally get to the office I don’t really feel that it is a good morning and opt out of saying hi to anybody. After work I re-run into a guy I met a few weeks ago who, aside from being a Yankees fan, is cute and funny and asks for my number. There is some discussion of an impending sporting event. Went to the new salon for a haircut, got cute bangs and did not get dumped in either tributary.
Thursday Acceptable Yankee Fan (AYF) texts me to say how good it felt to wake up a World Champion. I have been needled in my office incessantly by gloating coworkers, but text back that I’m the closest to being willing to say congratulations to him than I’ve been all day, which he says he can work with. I resolve that the key to flirtation is to stay detached and uninvested for as long as possible to keep the crazybrain sedated. Attend Mike Birbiglia’s stand-up show, I Am In The Future, Also and laugh like a fiend. When I get home AYF texts me to tell me to turn on channel 2, which is actually my channel 9, and it’s three Yankee players on Letterman. I rescind my near-congratulations and we text back and forth about baseball and stand up. I finally got my new Netflix and start with one little episode Gilmore Girls at 11.But then Luke and Lorelai break up over some stupid stunt Emily pulled and I have to keep watching until they get back together three episodes later at 2:45 am.
Friday calls for a TGIF Dunkin’ Donuts visit. I begin to suspect the cashier of deliberately mishearing “pumpkin” in order to push the new product, because there’s no way you mishear “apples and spice” and “chocolate frosted.” Tonight I’m going to see Ewan McGregor and George Clooney in “Men Who Stare At Goats” with a friend, tomorrow I’m going to a fancypants sober dance and Sunday is the Mad Men finale which I will be watching in company with other enthusiastic dorks in a bar on Madison Ave. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a parade to ignore.