Fake Morning View - Upper East Side
Here is the street on which I reside. Here is the city rendered lovely, gracious, without guile. But this is not today. This was in February. I wish I could swap that day for today. Today is one of those gridlocked, diesel-belching, subway-stalling, short-tempered, impatient, hot, muggy, soul crushing, eau de dumpster days. Half of the city is about to ask the other half to step outside and settle this like a man. Therefore, IF, in fact, you do know what tha fuck you is lookin' at, today is not the day to say so.
This whole day started on the wrong open-toed slingback Candi, when a huge shoving match erupted on the 6 train. On one side: a trio of humorless Bloomingdale's cosmetics clerks in black paramilitary pantsuits. I so wanted to ask them if they are-a-part of the Rhythm Nation, but I couldn't catch their eyes behind their melon-sized wrap-around Carrie Donovan sunglasses. ("We Took The COMA Out Of Glaucoma!"). Anyway, these Sarah Jessica Sandinistas pushed through the door and apparently bumped some black teenage girls with their roller-purses. (BTW. Roller-purses: totally worse than Hitler.) Words were exchanged, heads were swiveled, somebody said sumpin' bout somebody's weave. And it was on. Slapping, pushing, and assault with intent to de-braid.
People tried to get away, but I just sat there worried that the black girls' matching silver ENYCE shirts would just be ruined by the Sandinista's Home Depot-orange spray-on tans. And then their spray-on tans reminded me of my of ongoing and highly successful Cheetos boycott, now in it's 40th year. Somebody told me this weekend that his life coach said we need to give ourselves permission to be successful and to congratulate ourselves when we are. So again, I mention the Cheetos.
And then the spray-on tans reminded me of Christo's Gates, which were supposedly saffron, not orange, but definitely successful, so I guess he gave himself permission. I wish I knew how to monetize the inexhaustible well of art pretension in New York City. On a day like today, I wish I too was a wealthy conceptual artist so I could hire a skywriter to write A-N-G-E-R over and over again in mile-high saffron-colored letters over midtown. And then I'd film the smoke as it dissipated and the Brazilian trophy-wife of an elderly Ford Foundation board member would tell the women at her table at the Cancer Society gala that she had "discovered" me and they would throw me a reception at Cipriani in celebration of my two-week limited engagement at the MOMA where I would project my movie on an endless loop on the exterior wall and people in black paramilitary pantsuits would stand reverently and praise my revolutionary usage of smoke as a metaphor for a morally bankrupt consumer society and of how through my subversive counter-culture multi-media message they'd experienced an epiphany and were finally giving themselves permission to be angry and they'd hand me buckets of money so everybody knew they really, totally, "got" me.
I had a long time to think about that last paragraph because somebody must have hit the emergency button and conductor held the train inside the tunnel until the subway cops could get there. Because the way to handle violence in a hot, jammed subway car is to give those hot, angry people one long stuffy timeout with no way to escape violent strangers.
The cops were waiting when we got to 59th Street and when the train pulled out, one of the Bloomie's girls was standing with her hand on her hip while she disdainfully flipped her blond extensions in the face of biggest ENYCE girl. I suspect that was a big mistake because an hour later the MTA had raised the threat level from "Oh No You Di-Ent" to "Girl, Hold My Gold". One more bitch fight and we'll be at "Oh, HELL no!"
At lunch, I had to zoom over to a client on the West Side to drop off a document. On the way back, my taxi got stuck in a huge traffic jam and the a/c didn't work and something on the front seat was smelling exactly the way fresh fish doesn't and I started to feel bad about wasting the month I'd been given to turn in the proposal. But then I remembered that I still got it in on deadline and decided to allow myself to be successful. However, I only got to partially congratulate myself on that because that's when my taxi driver rear-ended a truck on Broadway and the other guy leaped out screaming and snarling with rage like he was some kind of zombie-virus infected Fresh Direct driver who'd been kept in a cage with other Fresh Direct drivers and forced to view violent movies about the convenience of shop-at-home competitively priced groceries until released by misguided organic farmers. That gave me an idea for a Broadway show called 28 Blocks Later: The Musical. Because I was still 28 blocks from home. So I hailed another cab and we spent 15 minutes to go five blocks. Then he got a flat tire. And I got on the 6 train. It's the circle of life and it moves through us all, dragging a roller-purse.