Thursday, February 14, 2008

a story

i have tried several times to post some simple, good stories of mine on this blog. mostly because most of my friends 1) have awesome stories and 2) are hilarious and a joy to read about on the internet. i, however, suck at both telling stories and remembering that i actually have a good story to tell under pressure. improv monologues and/or conversations are different, i can fucking yammer about any subject at any time. those are not the same as constructing a GOOD, funny and possibly endearing story. also, i tend to be just a little too timid to make the 'punchline' action of any story take place. one time, i almost got into a bar fight. it's a decent story, but a GREAT story would be me ACTUALLY getting into a bar fight. or actually going through with some half-thought out plan i subsquently need to lie about to a co-worker/parent/significant other to escape the wacky consequences: but unbeknownst to our noble heroine, her actions are only excacerbating her predicament!

this is not going to be one of those stories, but it did happen to me last night and i want to tell it to (more of) the internet.

walking to the 6 train from my office is pretty long walk, even for manhattan. depending on the traffic (both foot and catching the walk lights right), it takes between 12 and 15 minutes. doesn't sound that long, but when it's shitty out, it sucks. i was bundled up, wearing my knee-high winter boots for only the second time this winter, as well as my longer, belted black wool coat. it had been raining quite hard that morning, and i had been caught in an awful 'ice-rain plus extant snow equals three foot slush moat on every street corner' navigation the night before on my journey from UCBT to the bar. it was miserable, and thusly i had geared up well in anticipation for horrors of my walk to work. it ended up being fine that morning, just rainy, and it wasn't even sprinkling by the time i left. however, i was digging being dressed like i was a rogue superhero or dark tower-seeking gunslinger, and i will admit that there was a fair amount of skipping to the elevator and whipping around like i was a vigilante with a sawn-off shotgun on her way to dispense some righteous justice.

i was walking at a good clip along 57th street, weaving around the standard gaping tourist groups. i caught the cross-town walk signal at 5th avenue and was making my way along between 5th and madison on those slippery stone-slab sidewalks in front of the sony atrium. i made to circumvent yet another group of slow-walkers when i bumped into this guy who had been bent over and in the process of both standing up and taking a few steps backwards--on a crowded fucking street corner in the middle of manhattan. i kind of caught him in the back, and he was off balance already, so he pitched forward a half step. IMMEDIATELY, he stands up and WHIPS around to face me. having identified his 'attacker', a small young white woman (the horror!), he instantly raised both arms and SHOVED me into the crosswalk. hard, too. i was baffled. to my personal credit, i immediately inquired as to what was fucking wrong with him. and then i asked if was fucking kidding me. to which he responded with the elegant move of THROWING HIS HALF EATEN HOT DOG AT ME. WHAT. he was totally fucking whacked out. did not look homeless, just looked like an awful fucking human being, with a tacky sports team-patched jacket. the kind of guy who gets bumped into by a little girl on the sidewalk and decides to SHOVE into the street. had the walk signal not been on, i could EASILY have been hit by a car or even creamed by a bus. anyone else who's walked along 57th can attest that the express busses go through those lights at upwards of 40 mph and have little regard for pedestrians.

anyway, after replying 'fuck off' in my most affronted tone once more (i gave him the shocked, condescending face as well), i continued walking north. i wasn't going to miss the damn light for that asshole. plus, even though about a 1/3 of me wanted to march right back to him and punch him right in his uneven eyes, the other 2/3s frantically signalled that the kind of reaction this guy had to a standard manhattan sidewalk experience screamed 'ABSOLUTE WHACKJOB DO NOT FUCK AROUND' so i kept striding north east towards the 6 train, all the while making 'gah! tsk! fucking SERIOUSLY' noises under my breath. finally i called my sister and left a voicemail about it; partly just to tell someone as soon as possible to make the experience a little more real to me, and partly so i could recount the story loudly for other passers-by and maybe they would think twice about pushing tiny females in the future, for fear of being made fun of to that girl's friends later. and also to leave a clue for the law and order crew for when the psycho-sidewalk-pusher inevitably caught up with me and killed me before i got to the train.

i recounted this story first thing this morning to my boss. she's even smaller than me. for those i don't know in person, i'm about 5'4", and thin. people always comment in surprise that i have a reasonably strong handshake; i think they are surprised that any strength at all can be contained in my delicate, blue veined frailty. i get a lot of surprised looks when i demonstrate any physical strength whatsoever. my boss is about 5' even and weighs about the same as me, and she flipped upon hearing the story. apparently guys threaten to kick her ass or beat her up on a frighteningly regular basis. and she's not like getting herself into these situations; like rich assholes chasing her down the street with their canes raised and threatening to kill her for stealing THEIR cab. what? who the fuck are these guys that think it's totally cool to fucking physically assault smaller women in public. i tend to think of spouse and partner abusers and nazis in similar terms: they seem like totally normal and even well-adjusted individuals until they go off and do awful, sub-human actions with their own personal justification for it, . they don't tend to walk around in public, doing it in front of other people. isn't that what society is for? to STOP people acting like fucking evil little jerks because they don't want other people to think they are evil little jerks? we need people to tell us how to be human, or we stop being human, and all that? what kind of culture is it that produces these fucking morons? 'oh look, a little girl, let's fucking shove her cause she probably can't kick my ass physically!' fucking pisses me off.

the only thing i regret about this whole incident, and the one thing that would make it a great story and not just a long-winded rant is if i had picked up the half eaten hot dog he'd thrown at me and taken a BIG bite out of while looking right in his stupid, lazy-eyed face. however, i was too shocked to snatch it out of the air and i am not sure that making a point like that would be worth eating something that's touched the ground in mid-town. or getting whatever communicable disease (rabies? syphilis? bein a huge dick?) that asshole clearly suffered from.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Holy crap Katey. You should have punched him in the fucking nose and given him a gushing nosebleed. That would have rocked. Because there's no way he would have been able to recover and start chasing you fast enough (and at this point you'd be way down the block). Btw, not only do I not understand what kind of guys think they can push around small women, but what kind of guy pushes a woman on the street at all? I mean unless she's some monster, Amazonian/American Gladiator type chick, who in his right mind thinks its okay to put his hands on any female in that kind of way?

This story (very well delivered btw) reminds me of the time that I was about a block away from my office on my cell phone trying to get an appointment set up with my Dr., minding my own business, and this (clearly crazy) homeless guy freaked out because I was standing less then 10 feet close to him and invading his personal space (really, I was no where near this nut job) and decided to throw his very large, Super-Gulp-sized soda at me. The lid came flying off in midair and my legs were soaked in Coke and backwash. Of course I screamed at him in the same manner you yelled at your douchebag, lots of Fucks, and he then threw a full bag of old food at me. So I'm standing in the middle of the sidewalk covered in this homeless guys lunch, pratically balling my eyes out (keep in mind I'm in downtown DC and this is happening in front of the National Press Club building) and not a single person stops to intervene or ask if I'm okay. I think that pissed me off more then anything.

The homeless guy is still yelling at me by the way (and is clearly having psychotic delusions because he's yelling that I'm coming to kill him). So I crossed the street to a cop car that's just hanging out and tapped on the window and the cop took one look at me and goes, "Who did this?" I can't even speak so I just start pointing at the guy (who is still yelling at me from across the street). The cop goes, "Oh yeah, he's all sorts of trouble," and proceeds to call for a van to come pick this guy up.

So I totally feel your pain. I felt like kind of a chickshit, tattletale for running to a cop when what I really wanted to do was kick this guy in the nuts. But I didn't want rabies or Hep C either :). And I did get a new pair of jeans out of it -- when I got back up to the office, my boss sent me immediately downstairs to Banana Republic with her credit card to buy a new pair.