I met a woman on the elevator today who had finally had enough.
"Going to lunch?" I asked her as we rode down to the lobby.
"No," she declared. "I'm going home!"
"Yes," she continued. "Did you ever have one of those days when you just can't take it anymore?"
One of those of days? Jesus, I've been having one of those days every day since the day I was born. If I had this woman's attitude, I would have gone back into the womb years ago.
"Well, good for you," I said. "Instead of going berserk in the office, you're going home so you won't have to kill anybody."
So we got down to the first floor, I went to the gym for my lunch time boxing workout and my elevator companion went home. I wonder how many office shoot-outs could have been avoided if people had done what she was now doing--going the hell home.
Maybe we all need to get in touch with our inner Snagglepuss.
Clearly that's not possible most days and I'd like to know what kind of office this woman works in that she can get away with this sort of thing. Sounds like I should be sending them a resume.
There seemed to be a lot hostility in the air tonight and I wonder if it has something to do with the looming specter of Christmas.
Bear in mind, I'm not talking about the celebration of our Savior's birth, but the retail blitzkrieg that drains our wallets, fattens out stomachs and ruins our souls.
I was on the Upper West Side tonight and I saw that the used book stand that normally occupies the corner of 73rd Street was gone, replaced now by rows of--yeow!--Christmas trees.
I hope that used book guy comes back, although he's gotten enough of my money to retire to Florida.
I walked into a bodega a block away and heard "Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano on the radio. Worse yet, I started singing along with it as I paid for my ice tea.
I guess there's not stopping it, is there?
I was going into the bank on the corner when this woman walking two poodles got into a nasty exchange with a man walking down the street.
I don't know if this was part of a long-simmering neighborhood feud or one of those chance encounters that make New York such a charming place to live.
"Fuck you!" the man said to the woman, before turning around and continuing down the block.
"Fuck you!" The woman howled in some kind of Eastern European accent. "Fuck you, fag-guht! "
Please, Madame, not in front of the poodles.
I walked away from this scene, always a good idea in these situations, when I passed a young man with some kind of walkie-talkie cell phone. He was holding the thing about six inches from his mouth and speaking to it like it was a disobedient parrot.
"You're always in control of the situation," he told his pet phone. "You know that!"
Yes, and thanks to your loud tone of voice, we all know that. I should have introduced him to the foul-mouthed poodle lady.
Of course, I have issues of my own. Like that lady in the restaurant on Thanksgiving Day who kept staring at us during our dinner.
Take a Gander At This
Yes, I know, it's a week already. The leftovers should be gone by now, but this is a holiday mystery that won't go away.
We had just about finished our meal when I looked over to the bar and saw this thin, middled-aged woman with glasses staring at me and my entire family.
I turned away a few times, convinced I was being paranoid. I’ve seen my father fly off the handle in similar situations, only to be completely off-base.
I didn’t want to follow in that particular set of footsteps. And, this being New York, you can risk your life if get into a beef with a total stranger.
Anyway, it's ridiculous. This woman couldn't possibly be staring at us. I mean, what the hell for? So I looked in her direction.
And she was still staring at us.
I thought she was waiting for our table and, to be honest, it was taking a bit of time to get out of there as we dithered over the bill. I would forget about her, then look at the bar, and see her again.
I finally got out of my chair and walked to the front of the restaurant. It was insane, why would a total stranger eyeball us for no good reason? Maybe all the tryptophan was getting to me.
We finally got everybody out of the restaurant and gathered outside to wait for a car service. I look up and there she is, Miss Goggle Eyes, standing in the doorway, just behind my aunt, smoking a cigarette.
She came out of the place a short time later with a man I assumed was her husband.
"That was fun," I heard her say. Maybe for you, lady, but not me.
The car service came, we went our separate ways and I forgot all about my delusions concerning the lady with the glasses.
Until the next day, that is, when my sister called and said she noticed her, too. And my aunt, as well, who asked, “why is that woman staring at us?”
I know I should forget about her and get on with my life, but I can’t. I have to know. Maybe Meena can help me.
Meena is a SOUTHERN BORN spiritualist, according to handbill I picked up on the subway (complete with capital lettering sprinkled throughout).
Please note that I changed her name for this post on the off-chance that her power is real and that she'll turn me into an anteater.
“She seeks to help many thousands of people who have been CROSSED, HAVE SPELLS, CAN’T HOLD MONEY, WANT LUCK, WANT THEIR LOVE ONES BACK, WANT TO STOP NATURE PROBLEMS or WANT TO GET RID OF STRANGE SICKNESS.”
I wish someone would help Meena with her caps-lock button; it seems to be possessed.
But if she’s for real, maybe she can help explain the mystery of the lady with the glasses.
And while she’s at it, she can help me get rich, find a really hot girlfriend and take care of this pain in my elbow. After all, "she works her power to SATISFY each and everyone.
“She reveals to you all of the hidden secrets, evils (sic) eyes and lurking dangers that may harm you. If you really want something done about that matter HERE IS THE WOMAN WHO WILL DO IT FOR YOU IN A HURRY…See her in the morning. BE HAPPY AT NIGHT.”
The Jehovah’s Witnesses have a different approach.They left a flier in my doorway that says “All Suffering Soon to End!”
Now, by that reasoning, I won’t to worry about the Lady with the Glasses anymore, since we’ll be in paradise. Thought it won’t be paradise if she’s there…staring at me…for eternity.
There's a nice color drawing on the flier, showing a man and a woman in a field. There are trees and flowers, and a lovely field with a moose standing behind them.
Yes, that's right, a moose. No, I don't know what the moose is doing there, but at least it's better than a poodle...or an anteater...or a lady with glasses.
I'm thinking more about that woman I met on the elevator today. Maybe I should get out of the cubicle in my brain and take the elevator to my soul.
Get away from all these hostile thoughts and weird memories, put an end to all suffering. Leave in the morning and be happy at night.
Somebody hit the down button for me.