I spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week in New York City, where I learned a very valuable lesson I feel I can take with me for the rest of my days:
Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes, that reason is just to piss you off.
I am not an organized person.
As I was on my way out to the airport, I realized I’d forgotten the chargers for my cell phone and laptop. Not a problem, though; I left in plenty of time to turn around and go back for them. “Okay,” sez I (I talk to myself often), “I’ll just go through this bank’s drive-thru, cash this check, head back, and grab my chargers.”
No dice. The bank teller at teh drive-thorught was new, see, and …Long story short, it took her 45 minutes (and two tries) to cash the check, completely devouring all the time I woul’ve needed to get the chargers.
So I arrive at the airport, sans chargers and barely in time for my flight. Arrived in New York, where it was raining.
For three days.
Head out to the Apple store in the rain. Along the way, found a very attractive young Asian woman selling umbrellas on a street corner for $5 each, which made me happy.
It’s amazing, really, how relative happiness is. Sometimes, all it takes is an umbrella.
Got a new charger for the laptop. Went back to the hotel. No exploring the city for me; too rainy. Oh, well.
Did the job I was there to do. Hoarded my cell phone’s battery power like a sultan hoardes his women, finally ran out of juice on the afternoon of the last day I was there.
Which, as it turns out, was the same day a psycho decides to assassinate one of the New York city councilmen in City Hall. The police closed down many of the major streets in and around downtown New York at just about the time I headed for the airport. The ensuing chain-reaction traffic jam turned a 30-minute trip into a two-hour trip.
Or rather, it would have been a two-hour trip were it not for a certain member of New York’s finest who had other plans. You see, the cabbie ran through a yellow light, and…
I appreciate that being a police officer is a nasty business. I also know how to spot a tin-plate, blowhard bully when I see one.
I can’t speak for the entire NYPD, But I will say that if they’re all like this guy was, it suddenly makes perfect sense that the New York cops occasionally pump 43 bullets into a random unarmed black man. This guy was an asswipe.
No, I take that back; it’s needlessly offensive and insulting to rolls of toilet paper everywhere.
This guy was a petty, self-aggrandizing, swaggering, pompous little despot who unquestioningly joined the force because it let him carry a stick and beat people up. He enjoyed every inch of his pathetic measure of power, bullying and threatening the cabbie and ranting on and on for the sheer pleasure of hearing himself speak. This miserable little cockroach was the poorest example of a police officer it has ever been my considerable displeasure to encounter, and he kept the cabbie there on the side of the road for half an hour for no reason other than the gratification of his feeble authority.
If this is the sort of shit New Yorkers have to put up with all the time from their police force, a whole lot of things suddenly become a whole lot clearer to me.
Anyway, I arrived at the airport five minutes before my flight was scheduled to leave, and in my mad scramble out of the cab, I left my cell phone behind. Which rather sucked.
And the flight was an hour delayed. Naturally.
New York City didn’t want me there, but was very accomodating in my efforts to leave.
As an epilogue, I did get the cell phone back. I called it, and the long-suffering cabbie answered and helped make arrangements to get it shipped back to me.
Not everyone in New York City sucks; in my experience, only the police do.
I do like the city. I’d never spent any time there before, but there was something about being in the midst of such a phenomenal number of people that really felt electrifying and energizing to me. I could easily see myself living there, in a different life.