Tuesday, March 24, 2009

30 Minutes in New York

One thing goes wrong, and then everything that follows will just suck.

Take my Saturday morning for example. I went down to the parking garage in my apartment building to retrieve my car and it was nowhere to be found. Not only did I call the night before, but I marked down the time I needed it on a ginormous dry erase board set up in the garage, and yet, there I was, waiting. Normally, I wouldn’t care because, let’s face it, where am I going in such a hurry? But on this particular Saturday I had to get to Brooklyn for an eight hour training session, and now my car was buried four deep.

Fifteen minutes later, I hopped in and couldn’t find the keys. Usually they’re on the front tire, driver’s seat or on the floor. Not today. I reiterate, if I wasn’t in a hurry, I would have laughed as I played hide and seek with my car keys, but now I was going to be late and I hate being late. The parking attendant walked towards me. I looked at him helplessly and might’ve shown a little ‘pissed off-ness’. And then my eyes lowered to the front panel above the radio and there was the key. Why? Why play hide and seek with my car key to begin with? Is it too much to ask to be consistent with the key placement? Am I asking for the moon?

I’d planned on a car wash on my way to Brooklyn because when I can’t see out the back window, even I know that it’s time to de-grime. Let’s see; the first warm day in New York in over three months, tourists, the Intrepid and The Circle Line. That just screams crowds, traffic and playing chicken with out-of-towners who feel the need to cross the street whenever the spirit moves them. Traffic lights be damned.

It took another 15 minutes to get to the entrance of the car wash, and when I did, a police officer raced (well, waddled really) across the street, yelling and waving his hands wildly. It seems that all of us dirty car people were blocking an entire lane thus causing a terrific traffic jam. I didn’t know, I couldn’t see out the back of my car.

I pulled into the car wash, where four very eager washing attendants grabbed their vacuum hoses and practically dragged me from the car. I got my ticket and walked inside to the register but not before I found myself behind the slowest walking man on the planet. It’s not like he was aged or anything, he just wanted to do a little window shopping along the row of car accessories. Oh, my god, he was killing me with his sauntering. I had to get out from behind him. He slowed (even more) in front of the Chamois and Little Tree Air Freshener, so I passed him on the right, and sprinted to the cash register.

I got into my clean car, made a U-turn and headed south down to Brooklyn. As I said, it was a gorgeous day and I had to put the top down. At the first red light, the top began its smooth 14 second descent. And then a warning light came on, accompanied by an ear piercing sound, alerting me that the top was unable to complete its descent. I turned around only to see the back glass window cockeyed, and frozen in mid air. Fuck.

Ever since my parent’s bought a bright orange Fiat Spider when I was a kid, I’ve loved convertibles. There’s something about a convertible that makes me feel so very cool and oh, so special. Maybe it’s because you’re out there in the open, blowing in the wind, for all to see. It’s an attention getter, as am I. So when the J walking tourists and stream of cars pointed and snickered at my cockeyed glass, I was hit in the face with a sack of humility, which made me feel incredibly uncool and Special ed like.

I quickly reversed the direction of the top. Oh, great, I broke the car. I pulled off the West side highway into the NY Waterway parking lot on 39th Street to check the damage.

I got out of the car, walked around to the trunk and opened it. There it was. The culprit. An extra large red funnel. I bought it so I could replenish my windshield wiper fluid. There’s a certain amount of pleasure, an instant gratification if you will, pouring the fluid down that funnel, and watching the thingy under the hood fill up. In any case, the funnel was laying where it wasn’t supposed to be. I tossed it aside and I was ready to go, again. I got back in the car and the top was down 14 seconds later.

The only problem now was how to get out of the parking lot. I had parked in the TAXI ONLY lane and was surrounded by cabs. I tried to back up and go around them but the parking lot backs up to the bike path and every time I inched backwards, cyclists and rollerbladers shot me looks that I could feel in my ass. I didn’t see any way out, so I laid on my horn, hoping that a cabbie might take pity on me, and let me out. One did and I was back on the West side highway, but not before running a red light (didn’t see it Officer) and cutting off a Waterway bus in the process.

Several miles later, I was in line at the Battery Tunnel. Lane closed? Are you kidding me? Why is it so difficult to get to Brooklyn this morning? I backed up, avoiding oncoming traffic and passed through an open toll lane. A few hundred feet past the toll plaza, I was stopped at a light underneath the highway overpass. This was a very popular place for those adorable and clean New York City pigeons to perch. As I looked up, eyeing the birds’ underbellies, I was convinced that it was just a matter of time before pigeon poo rained down on my head, and my spanking clean car, or both. I begged for the light to turn green. “Now. Now. Go. Go. C’mon. Now. Go.” The more I begged, the longer it seemed to take the light to change. Finally, green light, no crap, and off I went.

I was about two miles away from my destination and I thought I was home free. Uh, oh, why does the sky look so dark? Are those storm clouds? Oh, fuck it. At the next red light, the top was up and I was back in my metal bubble. Well, that was a relaxing morning. Here’s to the afternoon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a fun morning...Could the afternoon be as entertaining?