I’m back in
No, in fact my good friend from college produces the show (with some help from bosses and a few co-workers) and I just like crashing the afterparty, showing up all boozy in my tux, waving around a martini glass saying things in a deep British accent like, “Jolly good fun! Not take off that pantsuit and sing it again!”
Not only that, but it’s the first time I’ve been back in the city since we moved. While it’s only been three and a half months, the longest I was ever out of
And even worse, I seem to have forgotten everything about
So after much effort to find my way from
Enter doofusy tourist – the kind of guy that’s wearing his high school ring and carrying a bottle of flavored water in his cargo shorts. He’s trying to look cool and conceal the fact that he has no clue where he’s going. Nonchalantly, he looks my way. Having no defense system (iPod, magazine) I’m caught.
Guy: “Hey, do you know if this train stops at Penn Station?”
Me: (internally) Are you wearing your class ring?
Now, as everyone knows, New Yorkers pride themselves on their knowledge of the subway. Generally speaking, if someone asks for directions loud enough for a group of bystanders to hear, at least three people will chime in with responses, with at least one know-it-all offering a faster route (“Transfer to the J!”) and one elderly know-it-all calling it “the IRT.” I was never one of those know-it-alls, but yes, if I overheard someone asking for directions and the person gave them the wrong answer, I would politely step in and say with a chuckle, “The 4 doesn’t stop at 23rd. Only the 6 does. Oh the folly!” (I can’t shake my internal British accent.)
Suddenly, though, I was caught speechless. Did the R stop at Penn Station? Who the fuck knows? How could someone possibly answer such a difficult question? What do I look like, a cartographer? Did I design the
I live in
It’s like I didn’t believe it until right now, when this poor schlep eating a bag of trail mix needed directions that me, an out-of-towner, couldn’t provide. I was crushed. If
Granted all this happened in about two seconds, because of course I coolly responded, “Yup,” and went back to reading an ad for the latest six-month old inspirational self-help book. I avoided eye contact with the dufus, perhaps out of shame. Of course, with some time to reconsider my answer, I remembered that the R train didn’t stop right at Penn Station, rather a couple avenues over. But I couldn’t correct myself now.
Either way, when we pulled in to
And with that, I felt like a New Yorker once again.