Thursday, November 6, 2008

No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn

Just as a walk around Union Square was getting me down and I started feeling sorry for myself, mourning the haphazard shopping I can no longer do, I felt my pocket buzz.  It was my calendar popping up reminding me that I had to hop on the 4 Train to meet my bestie for a Wednesday afternoon lunch. Two minutes into my subway ride the self-pities disappeared because it struck me that I was going to Brooklyn for an afternoon lunch with my friend during an hour of the day that was usually spent eating soup from a can while surfing TheKnot at my desk and answering politely, "No, It's Progresso, I didn't make it," to everyone who walked by and commented on how good my sad little bowl of soup smelled.  

By the time I surfaced at Brooklyn's Borough Hall stop, I was feeling electric.  Here I was, one day post the most important election of my lifetime, not in an office, but waiting in the courtyard of Brooklyn Law School listening to everyone buzz about the history had just been made.  Yes, they were buzzing in legal terms I don't understand and taking themselves way too seriously as evident by the intentionally worn-in corduroy blazer with elbow patches being sported by some kid who looked 19, but it still felt electric.  

I sat and contemplated this for a moment, when my friend, B, walked out the door and we headed to lunch.  I marveled at the wonders of Brooklyn and it's mom-and-pop stores clutching my wallet tight making sure I didn't spend unnecessarily (which is a term I'm still trying to grasp given that, up until now, I've deemed $40 lip gloss a necessary investment).  Lunch was delicious, gossip-filled and fairly uneventful and was followed by 2 and a half hours at Starbucks where I had my Holy Effing Sh1t moment.  

As B and I perused Face Book, cracked the jokes we usually crack and brainstormed ways to make this blog bigger and better, I had to take five and fearfully slip into the Starbucks bathroom that I knew would not be pleasant since I spent a year in college employed by the coffee monster and once a week had to clean the glorified porter potty.  As I grabbed handfuls of paper towels to ensure I didn't touch any exposed surfaces, I thought that maybe I should start carrying around Rubber Gloves with me.  Catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror, seeing the skeeved out look on my face and realizing that the Rubber Glove idea might make me look crazy, I stopped and remembered, Holy Effing Sh1t, it is 3pm on Wednesday and I am at Starbucks, cracking up with my best friend instead of counting down the two and a half hours until I got to leave the office.  That's when I decided that, despite the rain, I was going to walk home over the Brooklyn Bridge.

B and I packed up our stuff and she pointed me in the direction of one of the world's seven wonders so I could start my journey.  It was windy, it was raining and I started to panic a little bit when I didn't see anybody else taking on this monster, but with my headphones firmly in place, Semi Precious Weapons blasting in my ears, I forged on to cross this bridge crossed by so many others before me.  

About half way through, I could barely contain myself and had to force myself not to dance in public and risk getting hauled off the bridge in a straight jacket.  I practically ran up to a family of five to let me take a picture of all of them together.  I had long since given up on trying to hold my umbrella when a young Asian Tourist approached and asked if I would take his picture for him.  Elated, I made him stand there while I took, not one, but four pictures of him.  He's just lucky I didn't lick my finger and start fixing his hair.  I had finally hit my stride and thought that this was my perfect opportunity to start talking to strangers and find out what really makes the people who don't spend their days in offices tic.  I started to ask the young tourist where he was from and he replied, "Picture?".  I said, "Are you on vacation?"  He replied, "Thank you."  As I started to yell out my last question, I started hysterical laughing because I realized I was yelling at someone who didn't speak the language in the hopes that somehow the volume of my voice would make him miraculously understand me.  

Having thoroughly confused this tourist, I just smiled, nodded and went on my way.  I was almost fully across the bridge by this time when I turned around to snap a few shots.  When I started thinking to myself about camera angles and how to get the perfect shot - something I know absolutely NOTHING about, I realized it was time to go and that maybe I was just a little too high on life.  I'm just glad I was alone and no one was there to make fun of me.  I congratulated myself on at least trying to strike up a conversation and patted myself on the back for resisting striking one up with some of the crazies I encountered on the bridge, because sometimes what seems interesting is actually dangerous.

I pulled out my new best friend, the Metrocard, and headed down into the subway for the final ride home.  Just as I did this, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirrored wall and had one final revelation. Not only had the office been sucking the life out of me, it had been sucking the life out of my hair! In that moment it dawned on me that I don't need 50 bones and a trip to Blow salon to get my Giselle on, all I need is a little humidity, a windy day and the Brooklyn Bridge to put some body in my hair and a bounce in my step.  Life is good.

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