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New York City has been acting out lately. Among the misbehaviors I've witnessed this week were:

A well-dressed man jumping 2 feet in the air at the entrance to the NY Public Library's beautiful Bryant Park. He must have seen people looking because he felt the need to loudly explain his behavior: "Biggest fucking rat I ever saw." Now all the strangers know he's not crazy. I would have probably done the same, probably, and even added some exaggerated pointing or gesturing or detailed rat pantomime. People like to be entertained.

I am accosted DAILY on my walk to work by a peck (what's the plural for "adorable middle-aged Asian woman"?) of adorable middle-aged Asian women, each armed with identical clipboards. The women, in league together, toting clipboards, position themselves down the street, on alternating opposing sides of the sidewalk. (No doubt to avoid deliberate-avoidance walkers who instinctively hug the curb or buildings to avoid pedestrians with fliers pushing them on pedestrians without fliers) I've never stopped long enough to read exactly what's written on the clipboards but I have been able to make out something like "Are You Single? Unmarried? In need of a footbath?" Like I said, I've never really read the entire thing properly. These tiny women approach me everyday without exception and each day, still not sure exactly what they want from me (but having developed my own theories, obviously), I make as many hurried gestures possible to suggest I'm married. I'll try to look extra happy and point at my teeth. Sometimes I will draw their attention to my ring finger and shrug. (Even though no ring sits on this finger, I am convinced the gesture alone, combined with a resigned shrug of the shoulders, is completely convincing) One day, thinking quickly, I grabbed two Swedish children touring New York with their parents and, hugging them both around the neck with each of my arms, screamed, "See!!" Once I actually came right out and lied, "I'm married". The Asian lady who nabbed me that day looked at me for a second, smiled, and said, "very beautiful." And then proceeded to plunge my feet, shoes and all, into a hot sea salt footbath. Just what the doctor ordered.

And, most recently:

Cab ride home. Cab driver pops in an Ol Dirty CD and my expression, worn south from an evening of dealing with customer service representatives and advertising account managers, lights up. We both agree that ODB is an original voice in hip-hop. (ME: "His shit is mad banging, yo." HIM: "Yes, he's truly working in a space outside of this genre.") We get stuck over the Manhattan Bridge for a full side of Dirt McGirt and, instead of taking the typical cab driver route of complaining about the traffic or the hassle of having to haul cab to Brooklyn without a guaranteed fare for return trip, he decides to turn the CD up deafeningly loud, letting the bass break up like oyster crackers through his Radio Shack rear speakers. I don't care. He even has the courtesy to turn the volume down when ODB starts talking paranoid, angry shit about whitey. I'm never moving away from this place.


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