on occasion i'm reminded that i live not just in a city, but in a backdrop. new york can be very surreal, with all of the scads of people and tourists (sorry to give them a distinction separate from people...but they are their own species) and jumbles of buildings and SO much going on all the time, plus the zero probability that you'll leave the house and not stumble upon a film or television crew, or some ridiculously gaunt model dressed outlandishly inappropriate for the task of say, just walking down the street. after fourteen years of living here, i've grown fairly numb to this reality, however, yesterday my awareness of the vain entity we call new york was supremely heightened.
jade and i decided, spur of the moment, to play hookey and use the last of the free movie passes we've been nursing (thank you, amy!) to see 'inception'. being expert navigators of the subway and city, we should have had enough time to get the the theater comfortably. but that ever pesky--and i challenge anyone who doesn't believe in astrology to dispute the effect--mercury in retrograde slowed the trains to a torturous eye-rolling, finger tapping, forehead pressed against the window, pace.
when the sluggish subway doors finally opened, we wordlessly ran, weaving through the erratic crowd whose content was unusually high in wild card tourists (ug. ground zero!), out the station and up the stairs. on street level i shouted out, "let's pretend we're in BONES"! bones being one of the countless detective shows that jade is obsessed with. accordingly, we ran wildly through the streets and people-choked sidewalks, pissing off countless elderly people, ruining countless snapshots of midwesterners smiling on hallowed ground, hoping to hold off that 'dastardly' mosque, ignored by countless businessmen ground so far into the daily grind they probably did not even notice our fleeting pass, foiling countless traffic cops attempting to herd the mighty crowds at the crosswalks with plastic yellow chains. up the stairs of the subway, through traffic, past the decade of digging around in that gaping hole in the ground, up the pedestrian overpass--no time to stand on the escalator. we were secret agents for sure, desperately hoping the previews would stretch on long enough to counter our tardiness.
only problem was, i'm not quite as physically fit as a brilliantly smart and gorgeous anthropologist slash fbi agent. and jade, despite his football injury, doesn't exactly look and function like a ken doll killing machine fbi agent. in the center of the elevated pedestrian overpass, we huffed and puffed and i somehow managed to yell out, "aren't you glad no one is chasing and trying to kill us?!" i may have been hauling ass, but i would so be dead, and i can bet you our action sequence didn't look nearly as glamorous as the ones we watch on hulu.
finally finding the movie theater and weaving through the empty, superfluous maze of stanchions, paying the extra three dollars for our 'free' tickets (the new york city surcharge!), we thought we had it made, but had forgotten about that very unique and puzzling feature of new york city movie theaters: the average of eight floors one is forced to escalate through in order to reach our always high altitude movies. always single file escalators inevitably stocked with large hipped women who have likely shown up 1/2 hour prior to the start time of their movie rather than 10 minutes after, as in our case, therefore, going nowhere. and more running, running of stairs and pissing off of aforementioned large-hipped ladies when we absolutely MUST get around. we're agents, damnit! stop obstructing justice!
and finally we make it into our almost private 1pm showing of inception and the overbearing movie-strength air conditioning i so often bitch about that forces me to carry a sweater around in 100 degree weather can't blast cold enough. sweat is pouring down our faces in a way most unbecoming to fbi agents, but we grin and high five each other as just as we sit, the screen goes dark and the opening credits begin.
surely bones and what was that dude's name? feel the same way at the end of the episode after they ALWAYS catch their killer.
and if we thought we felt strange on our way into the movies. let me tell you, and if you've seen inception, you'll understand, how strange it was to walk out of that movie at ground zero with the multitudes of towering cranes and half built but ancient megalithic buildings and conspicuous and suspicious people everywhere with no apparent reason for crowding around such a construction site.