Saturday, December 24, 2005

Gettin' smacked down

The best analysis of most new events come from those who write the heart--basically non-professionals, merely taking it in, thinking a bit, and then laying it down for others.

Steve Gilliard, over at The News Blog understands this, and posts some rather incisive comments from someone from lower Manhatten, pertaining to the NYC transit strike.
I had some time to think about this walking home last night, so here goes:

Well…I screwed up last night. I made the grievous mistake of making day three of the transit strike the day I panicked and shopped a bit too heavily for the kids’ gifts. A little Daffy’s, a touch of Old Navy and Modell’s, capped off with a whisper of Steve Madden for the daughter (poor baby’s a bit of a Bigfoot at 11) and before I knew it, I’d loaded myself down with three shopping bags of ersatz Santa leavings in addition to the slim valise I’d been carrying during the strike in lieu of my heavy computer bag.

The delicate balance had been lost. The not too bad walk to Brooklyn became a f*cking ordeal. The top of my right foot began throbbing as I neared the Manhattan Bridge. Midway, it was a hot icepick stabbing through the foot. By bridge’s end, I envied Kunta Kinté, who’d had his foot chopped off by an angry massa.

I rested just after the walkway in front of some high school or other, marshaling strength for the trudge ahead. The traffic was scream-worthy. A call to the wife to drive down to downtown Brooklyn to get me was out of the question—it was inaccessible.

So I walked some more.

Slowly though, as the pain returned. I found myself at Grand Army Plaza. I stopped to gather myself and let out a huge exhale when a car pulled up next to me, honking. It wasn’t a cab, or livery car—just a small black Honda with a mid late 20’s/early 30’s Black woman in the front seat and one in back. Did I know them?

“Goin’ to Rochester Avenue…you headin’ that way?, the squat woman in front asked.

“F*ck yes!”, I screamed in my head—which came out of my mouth as “Yup! Utica and Eastern, thanks so much!”

I loaded my bags in the back next to the other woman and fell into the front seat as we pulled off for the final 2 miles or so home.

After a long, pregnant pause (and making sure I wasn’t gonna be mugged by the cast of “Set It Off II—The Reckoning”) I piped up, “I really appreciate this—you heading home from work?”

“Nah.”, she replied. “Just tryin’ to make a little extra paper goin’ between here and the bridge. You’re my last one.”

After a pause, she continued, “I know I confused you with this little car an’ all, but I got m’ girl ridin’ with me—one woman in a car is kind of a target, soooo…I’m rollin’ like this. Made about two-hundred dollars tonight.” The butchy friend in the back seat gave a half-nod as if to say “We cleaned up…big time.”

“How much for my ride?”, I asked, figuring I could maybe live without the pint of blood I’d be charged along with fifty bucks.

“Eight dollars.”, she said.

You can read the rest at the blog, under the heading, "What the Daily News Didn't Tell You."

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