i had a very new york experience yesterday that led me to ruminate on the opossum cpr incident once again and conclude that certainly, pennsylvania may be close, but there is not a chance that would have happened here.
the abovementioned new york experience could also be filed under 'the universe it laughing at me', for only two days prior--before the poor flattened opossum was ever desecrated by a misguided and guilt-wracked drunken man trying to make good and before i ended up in a puddle of smashed grapes (i'm getting around to explaining THAT)--i sat on the subway and chuckled to myself over a very grave ad. not just an ad, but an ad for a cause. the ad's tone was dark and serious, as though addressing the tragedy unfolding in haiti or the hiccups of an unborn and almost aborted fetus. this ad warned against the dangers of a hidden new york city menace. not batman, not crackhouses, not even anarchists protesters, but the evil 'broken sidewalk'.
having just returned from havana, where the locals generally avoid navigating the only sometimes existent 'sidewalks' for fear of being flattened by crumbling 400-year old non-maintained balconies, i balked in a way the universe apparently found most patronizing. it was time to teach me a lesson.
so yesterday, while rounding the corner onto diamond street, laden with a backpack full of electronic equipment, laptop bag containing um, a laptop, shopping bag of the boss's 2009 receipts, as well as a overstuffed bag of what would aspired to be our dinner, i hurriedly shifted the delicately balanced weight of this awkward assemblage of packages in order to fish out my apartment keys without stopping. and just as i so impatiently did, wouldn't you know it, i was attacked by that sneaky bugger of a new york menace.....THE BROKEN SIDEWALK! well, in this case, the universe also threw in a 10 year old workbook sole that's been re-glued one too many times coming undone, and boom! on the ground i went.
it was a big one. even for me. those who know me are aware of my clumsiness, but also that super talent i have for recovering from falls mid-air to the point of fooling people into thinking i was off my rocker, performing some kind of strange ballet. it was one of those slow motion falls, where i had time to recognize there was no stopping it. where i had time to swear in a voice uncannily similar to my mother's. where i had time to really believe i wasn't getting out of this one without broken bones.
but thank god for the grapes. seriously. i cushioned my fall on the bunch of juicy green grapes that lay smashed on the sidewalk, having flown from my grocery bag just as my sunglasses flew off my head to the street.
i lay there on the ground amazed that i truly seemed undamaged. due to the frequency of my falls, i didn't have the standard feeling of embarrassment. mostly i just wish i had tape rolling so my friends could laugh at me.
but what really pissed me off, the true new yorkness of it all, was that not a single person stopped as they passed me by to extend a hand to help, nor to even inquire if i was okay.
so i packed my squashed groceries back in their bag, flipped off all the callous bystanders in my mind and reached for the goddamn keys. maybe if i had been an opossum and the sidewalk had been drunk, i could get some help. not that i needed it, thank you very much. here's hoping i never do!