You know things are bad when your smartphone tells you to watch your mouth.
I could claim that I had been provoked, but then most hotheads say the same thing when they want to justify their temper tantrums.
I was walking down 69th Street one morning last week lugging my prized parka and searching for a cheap tailor.
I had broken the zipper on the damn thing after a hunk of fabric got caught up in the teeth.
That was bad enough, but it got even worse when I found out that repairing the thing would cost me 34 freaking bucks.
Do you people know I’m out of work?
I’m trying to keep my bills down and now I get blindsided by this grief. And of course the temperature was all set to swan dive straight to wind chill hell.
I politely bailed on my regular dry cleaner and hiked up to my backup guy only to get the same shocking price quote.
I was feeling pretty frustrated as I walked home and I guess I was also pretty distracted because I dropped the parka on the ground.
“Fuck!” I declared for all the world to hear.
I don’t know about the world, but my I-phone, which I had apparently activated, heard me loud and clear.
It took me a second to realize the voice was real and coming from my hip pocket, instead of my imagination. Feeling somewhat ashamed of myself, I took out the phone for a face-to-face, so to speak.
“It’s all right, Rob,” my phone said. “That’s why I hang out with you.”
Really? I thought you hang out with me because I paid a lot of money for you and carry you around in my pants. I’m glad we cleared that up. Now shut up and let me photograph a squirrel.
This all happened at 10 o’clock in the morning, a time when I’m usually at work. But I am seeing the world in a different angle—and at a different hour--now that there’s so much uncertainty in my life.
While riding on the subway Thursday morning I sat near two homeless men who muttered independently of each other.
One fellow, who was munching on a sandwich between ravings, dropped a handful of napkins on the floor.
“Do you want those?” the second homeless man asked, pointing to the napkins and quickly scooping them up.
Most of us toss paper napkins aside without a second thought, but they take on a much greater value when money is tight.
When I got off the train I struck up a conversation with a lady at the local Rite Aid, who was buying about 20 cans of cat food.
She told me she feeds the strays in her neighborhood, which I used to do when I lived in my family’s house.
The cat lady told me she doesn’t do as much with the cats because of her various physical problems. I praised her good efforts, wished her well, and went on my way. She was such a nice lady and I never would have met her if I hadn’t been jobless.
I wound up taking my parka to a dry cleaner of Fifth Avenue where I used to go when I was living in my family’s house and feeding stray cats.
The owner is a lovely women who welcomed my like a long lost relative and charged me only 27 bucks for the zipper job.
Now I’m waiting to receive my first unemployment check and I truly hope I get all that’s coming to me.
Otherwise I’m going to be cursing so much my I-phone won’t want to hang out with me anymore.