Today was the day that had to happen to make me feel like I made the right decision about staying. I woke up at 10:30 and took a shower in a bathtub that I like a hundred times more than the one I just left in Chelsea, mostly because it looks like Meredith actually cleans hers. It also doesn't hurt that there's a window in the far wall of the shower, and I'm sort of an exhibitionist.
I e-mailed my friend Chax last night and asked if he could help me locate a new loofah in my new neighbourhood, since I threw mine out yesterday when I moved out of my apartment. In typical male fashion, he barely knows what a loofah is, so I decided just to go back to Chelsea and its strip of corporate familiarity.
When I left Meredith's apartment, I stopped at a little convenience store to buy some juice for my subway ride, and the cashier greeted me like he actually meant it. He put my bottle in a little brown bag, which no one has ever done in Manhattan. Then, when I took the juice out of the bag just outside the store, I saw that he'd stuck a straw and napkin inside for me. Cute!
When I finished my loofah-purchasing extravaganza at Bed, Bath & Beyond, I headed up to the bank to get more cash for my now-classic lesbian haircut, and on the stairs of a church-turned-nightclub, I spotted a girl who looked just like my little sister before my little sister started tanning and working out every day. When I got closer, I saw that she had her luggage beside her with a marker board on top that said, "Please help me get back to Columbus, Ohio," and had her driver's license taped next to it. I stopped and said, "Hey! I'm from Columbus, Ohio." I asked her how she got here, and she said that she came out to see her mom but that her mom doesn't want to see her and none of the women's shelters provides traveler's aid. As we talked, I became more and more aware of how stereotypically Ohio she was, from her fat blonde ponytail to her round face to her cutoff denim shorts to her gravelly white trash voice. I gave her all the cash I had and wished her good luck in getting home. Mostly because I don't want her here Ohioing up my city.
I also noticed that before I walked up to her, no one was paying her any attention. But as soon as I stopped to talk, three people gave her cash. So my plan, if I ever become homeless, is to pay really adorable girls with lesbian haircuts to hang around and attract people to me. Which is completely reasonable.
I walked across 23rd Street toward my old apartment and saw a blind guy headed straight for one of those giant blue post office boxes. He had his cane too far too his right for it to let him know that the box was in front of him, and I thought, Say something! Tell him to be careful! But my mouth is too far from my brain, and he smacked into it before I could say anything. The look of shock and sadness on his face broke my heart, and I wanted to say to him, "I'm sorry! I tried!" As he passed me, he muttered, "That's what I get for not paying attention."
After my haircut, I packed my peanut butter, bread pan, and pepper-plant-that's-too-young-to-have-any-peppers-growing-on-it in one of our wastebaskets and left my old apartment for the last time. On my way to the subway, I passed a little folding table with glasses and a pitcher on top. Two little blonde kids asked me in unison, "Would you like some lemonade?" It made me want to have, like, ten thousand babies.
And finally, as I stepped onto the subway platform, I passed a man with a French accent who asked, "Cannabis?" It took me a second to realise that he was talking about my trashcan plant, so I turned around and said, "Close. Ornamental peppers." He was disappointed but sweet, and I thought about how cool I'd be if I hauled my potted weed around with me everywhere I went.
Sigh of contentedness.