– On Friday morning I kissed my wife and children goodbye and set sail for the bright lights and exotic fragrances of Manhattan, hoping to lend my voice to the concert of commerce I knew awaited me there. I was off to score some Black Friday deals for myself and my family.
Yet my adventure was nearly sundered from the outset. What occurred was a terrible auger of things to come; that’s the only way I know to take it. What happened was this: I entered the Greenpoint Ave subway station, earbuds in, mild buzz pinging around my brainpan. I noticed two old canvas suitcases haphazardly strewn along the steps. Then, at the bottom of the stairs, an old crone in rags stood braced against a stub-nose shopping cart piled high with what looked peripherally like actual garbage.
“Somebody help me,” she moaned. Being the only other person present, I assumed this cry was directed towards me. I could distantly make out the rumblings of a coming train, and I did not want to carry this woman’s garbage up the stairs for her, so I said, “Uh, no, sorry” and sidestepped the whole enterprise. The crone turned and started to yell at me in some long forgotten language, as ancient as it was angry. She cursed me, I’m sure of it.
The train was in fact coming. I broke into a sprint and caught it just before the doors closed, then did the same with the E train at the Court Square transfer. I made it to Manhattan in record time. The curse must have been gestating in my belly.
I spent the next couple hours or days, it’s unclear how much time actually passed, fighting my way through crowds both in and out of stores to try to find clothes that make me look more like a New Yorker. Put another way, I was looking for clothes that make me look more like myself. I bought some stuff at Zara, joggers and t-shirts. I bought a hoodie at Urban Outfitters, though they didn’t have my size in stock and will have to ship it to my office. I went to Foot Locker to get sneakers, not realizing it was in the heart of Times Square. That fucking sucked, holy shit. People were everywhere, gawking at each other, blocking the sidewalk as they waited for a table for 11 at Guy Fieri’s restaurant to open up. Foot Locker didn’t even have my size. And they weren’t doing a sale. What kinda shit is that? That’s some curse shit.
I ate a burrito at Chipotle that wasn’t even good and then hightailed it back to Brooklyn, feeling more hungover than when I started and only semi-accomplished as an adventurer. The gypsy woman was gone when I got back.
Everybody is still out of town and my body had turned on its “Check Engine” light so I camped out at home for the rest of the night. I watched John Mulaney’s two stand-up specials, which were both really funny, followed by a dismal Bulls effort in Indianapolis. Then some Curb, then I polished off a bag of root vegetable chips, then I went to bed.