I wrote this one year ago today, when I lived in a far off magical kingdom known as New York City:
How NYC Has Changed Me
I woke up late. I wake up late a lot, but when I woke up today I was already late for work by two minutes.
I scared the shit out of my cats by tornadoing around my apartment throwing on clothes and chucking food into their bowl and beating it out the door.
At 9 am cabs in NYC are scarce. I got to the corner and stuck my hand out and watched two people dressed better than me get cabs even though they’d gotten to the corner minutes after me. When it was about to happen again, with two girls in their early twenties, I spoke up: “Excuse me, but I was here first.”
Turns out, though, that someone was already in the back of the cab. When one of the young women saw me turn back around toward the corner she let out this bitchy, exaggerated laugh.
I didn’t even think, I just spoke. “Is that funny?”
She turned away from me and stared at her shoes. Her friend looked at me and said, “What?”
“I asked your friend there if she thinks it’s funny.”
She grabbed her bitchy friend’s hand and they ran across the crosswalk.
I finally got into a cab and told him 30th and Park and, of course, there was crazy construction traffic the whole way. Once at my destination, only 24 minutes after waking in a frenzy, I was mere feet from work.
Then his machine broke.
“You have cash?” No, I told him. I have a card.
He started cussing and randomly hitting buttons and they would beep but not show a total. I looked at my phone. I opened the car door.
“WHERE ARE YOU GOING?” I told him I was going to work, that I was already late, and that this issue sounded like his problem.
“I HAVE TO GET MY MONEY,” he screamed.
“ME, TOO,” I yelled back. “That’s why I took a fucking cab to work. I’m already late.”
“You need to relax,” he told me.
He finally got the machine to work and I swiped my card and overtipped, as usual, and walked in to work and got settled.
Minutes later I hightailed it over to Bread & Butter for a quick bagel and coffee so I could fuel up and start my day. I got in line behind a couple and their teenaged daughters.
When the guy behind the counter said “next,” the father of the quartet began to speak in an adorable British accent: “Can you recommend a traditional American breakfast? I dunno, maybe bacon. Maybe pancakes.”
NYC delis are not known for their recommendations. You tell them what you want and they make it. The guy behind the counter looked at them with an “are you serious” face.
“Bacon and eggs?,” he offered, when I am sure he wanted to say, “I’m from Venezuela, I don’t know shit about traditional American breakfasts.”
There were more questions about the validity of the maple syrup. The girls wanted only two pancakes each, even though the menu item came with three. Patience oozed out my ear.
I wanted to spin them around and say, “You know what Americans do for breakfast? They order fast, and they get the fuck out.”
But I didn’t say that, in part, because it’s not even true. That is what New Yorkers do.