Well, I’m in New York.
I didn’t mention it earlier because I have this whole pessimistic thing going on where I don’t really believe something is going to happen until it actually happens. (I’m working on that. I really am.) But yesterday morning I woke up at the crack of awful, my dad picked me up, drove me to the airport, and I boarded a plane for New York City. (Please say “New York City” like they used to say it on those Pace picante commercials because that’s how it’s playing in my head.)
Actually I boarded a plane for Dallas first. Once I landed in Dallas I caught the airport tram to haul myself and my extremely overpacked carry-on bag to Gate A39. All was well and fine until they announced that my flight to JFK was now departing from Gate A14. You wouldn’t think that A39 would be that far from A14, but you would be wrong. Especially considering the fact that I was carrying a sound machine in my purse because I am a high maintenance traveler and don’t think I wouldn’t haul my body pillow through the airport if I could get away with it. I enjoy the comforts of home. And the sound of soft rain falling when I sleep.
Eventually American Airlines finally committed to a gate and I got in line to board the plane. I always start to get a little nervous when I board the plane because WHAT IF THERE IS NO ROOM FOR MY CARRY-ON BAG? And what if I hold up the entire boarding process of the plane while I try to figure it out? Fortunately there was an entire open luggage compartment and I mustered all my strength and possibly threw out my back trying to lift my bag. However, once I got it up there it appeared that it would only fit horizontally. So I left it that way. But then I realized the guy behind me was giving me the dirtiest look you can imagine because my horizontal bag didn’t leave any room for his bag. It was an unintentional error on my part and I started to apologize, but before I could even get the words out of my mouth he shoved my bag to the side, turned it horizontally and stored his bag next to mine. All while giving me the stinkeye.
Looking at him, I quietly said, “Sorry, I didn’t think it would fit that way.” But what I wanted to say was “Dude, settle down. It’s just luggage.” I don’t think he saw it that way.
I spent a large part of the flight reading various periodicals. I wish I could say that if you have any questions about the budget deficit or how the federal reserve rates are influencing the economy that I know the answer. The truth is that if you want to know about Kate Gosselin’s attitude on Dancing With The Stars or how Sandra Bullock is dealing with all her marital woes, then I am your girl. When it comes to current celebrity trivia I am en fuego.
After I arrived in New York, I caught (hailed?) a cab driven by a fellow named Harjab. From what I could tell Harjab appeared to be having some sort of spat with someone and spent most of the thirty minute cab ride yelling into his cell phone and then hanging up. Then he’d answer the phone again, yell some more, and hang up. All while driving across the Queensboro Bridge and nearly steering us right into a lane already occupied by a city bus. But other than my life span being shortened by about ten years from sheer terror, Harjab eventually got me to the hotel.
I checked into my room and immediately took a shower because two planes plus New York cab plus eighty degrees equals ick. Refreshed and relaxed, I stretched out on the bed and came to two conclusions about why I could never live in New York.
1. I have a tendency to get carsick. If I had to spend even a few minutes a week being driven around in stop and go traffic while riding in the backseat of a hot car, I’d never survive. On the plus side, it might be an effective diet plan.
2. While I was laying on the bed, I began to hear loud drumbeats right outside the window. I thought there was some kind of street musical going on or something and I was all OH NEW YORK! You amuse me with your street music! But then I looked outside and saw several men yelling through megaphones, six drummers drumming, ten lords a leaping and the biggest fake rat I’ve ever seen. (Not that I’ve seen that many fake rats in my day, but this one was like ten feet tall and standing on two legs.) It turned out to be some sort of construction workers strike or something like that even though the rat confused me for a minute and I thought maybe they were protesting The Tale of Despereaux. All I know is I’d hate to be the guy in charge of bringing the rat every morning.
But then last night I ate some of the most delicious pasta I’ve ever had in my life, walked by St. Patrick’s Cathedral and took in the sights of Madison Avenue, and all was forgiven.
New York, you’re a little loud but you make up for it with a lot of style.
And ten foot tall fake rats.