a sense of urg(un)cy

Thankfully, I’ve avoided any life-altering diseases, surgeries, infections and wardrobe malfunctions. When I was a wee one though, I was inflicted with, but not limited to: jaundice (a flattering yellowish tint), chicken pox (twice), pink eye (tri-yearly for about four years) and random unidentified bodily rashes.

So when the doctor told me – more so my mother – I had a UTI, my nine-year-old self was obviously unfazed and unconcerned. There were meds to quickly diffuse the issue. The root of the cause was because I “didn’t want to miss a damn thing.” I wanted to be in the thick of the action – who could blame me? So peeing hurt a little more than usual; a small price to pay.

Fast forward 14 years – cue: Reality Check – I can now successfully manage my restroom to anti-action-missing ratio; a self-taught accomplishment but an issue many struggle with to this day.

These days, leaving work usually means walking home well after dark and subway rides with New York’s finest pieces of work, all while keeping my tote bag tight under my arm to be used as my D-Lineman blocking drill tool. Stepping off the escalator, I cut the corner tight to find my usual waiting spot, knowing I’m right where the subway doors will open, when a small Hispanic man whizzes by me and clips my right shoulder. Contact was made since my bag is always perched on my left shoulder.

An adoptee of the hands-in-the-air-“Hey Asshole” move, I turn on my heels to initiate arm-flailing and instead come face to face with the same small man: junk out, taking a whiz and just looking. All at me. Guy: at least aim toward the tracks, the mice, the “Please Stay Behind the Yellow Line” line, WHATEVER.

For a small fellow, he had some serious arc, though.

Leering and slightly concerned my feet would surely receive residual spray, I merely asked, “Why, though?” Focused on me and without a word, he finished, shook, zipped and skipped up the escalator.

I almost wish he slithered off the platform and dramatically ran into the oncoming subway track’s dark abyss.

Let me teach you the ways of the ratio, little man.

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excurs(un)s

Ralph Waldo Emerson coined the phrase, “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

My mom has a similar saying that’s sort of a killer combo between philosophical enlightenment and Vanilla Ice’s next one-hit wonder:

“You know, Sar, life’s not about where you end up but all of the different paths you take to get there. You just gotta do you.”

I know in most scenarios this is more aptly apropos for larger life events: career changes, blossoming romances and the occasional pregnancy scare. Tonight I can confirm I successfully applied the very same life advice to everyday life.

Despite the lack of notice that it’s winter and walking 30 blocks to my apartment is not dissimilar to a Naked Mole Rat in Antarctica, I still do it. This is not for martyr-dom, people; I’m like a hamster in its wheel for 12+ hours – then the wheel breaks off the cages’ hinge but my little legs just won’t stop.

I enjoy my walk home on Third Ave. It gives me time to blow off steam from the day’s happenings; I can call family and friends and pick up dinner: frozen yogurt. Like any avenue in New York, I walk by tons of restaurants and bars; from fast food joints to three-star Michelin rated hot spots; dive bars that will probably lie about when last inspection was to the intern-infested underage clubs where the line is blurred between sweat, saliva and alcohol (word of advice: all three will wreak of booze so you’re pretty SOL).

As if someone were writing my slow-mo “international super-spy car explosion escape” or “nerd-turned-hot-girl making her big entrance at the senior prom” scene, I narrowly miss a lit cigarette flicked with an incredible trajectory by the drunk businessman slouched on a stoop shouting, “I don’t need this. Just leave me the fuck alone!” to the homeless man next to him, eyes darting either in genuine discomfort or the paranoia caused by the joint dangling from his lips. My Matrix-like sidestep lands me in the line of fire of a nearby building night cleaning crew about to start their shift and dressed to kill (but, really) in their A-line Tiffany Blue cotton knee-length dresses and trampling anyone or thing in their path. Forced off the curb and almost into an off-duty taxi, the woman outside the bar sipping her martini (martini glass, olives and all) and balancing her extinguished cig, hocks a loogie with a force that simply cannot be taught, only admired and slightly offended.

My dance celebration (not far from Rocky at the top of the stairs) from avoiding cigarette burns, being clothes lined by a line of angry women in unfortunate adult school uniforms and unwanted recipient of a saliva donor was totally necessary.

And sadly quickly derailed by the nearby vomit I danced right into.

So, Ralph. Mom. I see your precious “journey” spiel and raise you a, what I think was leftover Mexican, “destination.”