And Yet I Love Gatherings

So here I am, back in New York after a lovely two weeks at the Cape, where I did very little except read crappy mysteries and grow freckles. (If I could turn either one into a new career, I would.)

Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to go away, because by the end of it, you’re ready to get back. Even the stuff that drives you crazy about your day-to-day life seems awesomely nostalgic when you’ve been on vacation for two weeks. So it was with a certain amount of grim joy that I encountered my first post-vacay twat-nosed Brooklyn parent of the damned.

He was a father in his 40s, with two girls who looked to be about 4 and 6. Neither one of them appeared to be physically disabled or weakened in any way. Which is why it seemed so odd to me that their father pushed so hard to get them seats. He didn’t ask, mind you. He just stared and snuffled and gave looks. Well let me tell you something. If anyone is going to be passive-aggressive around here, it’s going to be me. Me and no one else.

Also? I need the seat. I truly do. I’m old, I work all day, I’m old and I work all day and the job that I work at involves sitting very still in an unnatural position while tapping at a keyboard, something any chiropractor will cheerfully tell you we aren’t meant to do, and I have a slipped disc as a result, and I’m old. So when the twat-nosed yuppie-dad gave me the look – the “aren’t you going to get up and give us your seat?” look – I sighed loudly and went back to reading my book. It was a crappy mystery, leftover from vacation. There was still sand in the spine. Sigh. Turbo sigh.

Twat-nosed Dad had no choice but to seat the girls on his lap. Apparently little Hermione and Matilda didn’t like this much, because they kept wriggling around trying to escape. They didn’t, but Matilda’s elbow did, right into my book.

Loyal readers of this semi-regular blogging experience are now sucking air through their teeth in consternation, but don’t fret: I did not, in the end, beat up a child today. Nor did I say what I wanted to say to the little dears, which was, “Your father is a dick. He’s a dick. He’s a large bag of tools, and also a penis, and also a male organ of generation. My point is that he’s not too bright, has no discernible manners and little to no grasp of the social contract. He’s bad at being a person. I want you to remember this when you’re teenagers. For now, just keep your fucking elbows to yourself and try not internalize any of his behavior.”

All this I said in my head. To the outside world? I just sighed some more, and turned my pages jerkily. I hope I got sand on them.

Passive-aggressive subway riders, unite!


I Am a Sweaty Girl

It’s hotter than Mercury here in NYC, which is a problem is you’re a sweaty person like me.

Most people sweat in this weather: What I do is mutate into a human sprinkler. I seriously look like I’ve been hit with a hose. Like maybe one of those guys who’s always spraying down the sidewalks in front of apartment buildings got me by mistake. (Note: They never do this. There’s clearly a lot of training that must be gone through before one can become a Hose Guy.)

Today, I walked my usual eight blocks to the train, only to discover that I was completely covered in perspiration. I mean, but completely. Usually I’m a tad damp. It looked like I had neglected to dry off at all when I got out of the shower.

It was so bad that I couldn’t even tell myself it wasn’t that bad. This is because people were staring. I learned something today, though: I learned that if you’re a sweaty girl, people will fuck right off out of your way on the train.

I owe this realization to the dried up ol’ sourpuss who was standing next to me on the B train this morning. She had a lot of bright red hair, nine gold necklaces, actual stone-washed jeans, and a face full of puckers that weren’t entirely the fault of the aging process and/or overexposure to the sun and Merit Ultralights.

She stared at me in disgust as I continued to water my little square foot of standing room, so I stared right back at her. After a moment, I began wiping my chest and making horrid sickly little groaning sounds, like maybe the TB was going to take me at last. Finally, she looked away.

Seriously, lady: Would I sweat this much if I could help it? Just because you haven’t had a natural bodily function since 1983, is that any reason to take it out on me?

Update on the Subway

My week began on Tuesday with vomiting.

Not mine, I’m pleased to report. Someone else’s. I got out of the subway and there she was, Ms. Honorary Monday Hangover Right-Now, puking elaborately into a trashcan just outside the 14th street F.

Now, if she’d looked distressed, I might’ve stopped and lent a hand. I don’t, as my English friend Luke would say, mind doing a bit. Howsomever, this young lady was grinning maniacally whilst puking, which to me says crazy. If you’re smiling and puking , you better be on peyote. And even then, I’m not a-gonna stick around to talk to you.

The rest of the week was less eventful, but a definite step up.

Two Conversations: Mostly-Shirt-Free Lady on the Train

Me: Oh my God.

Matthew: I know.

Me: Look at them.

Matthew: I am. OK, don’t look at them.

Me: Sorry. They’re just mesmerizing.

Uh huh.

Me: Maybe we could draw little eyes on them.

Matthew: [Looking at me in alarm.]

And stick a carrot between them!


And then do you know what we’d have?

Matthew: …no.


Matthew: You. Are. So. Weird.

I know.

Matthew: WEIRD.

I mean, come on.