August 09, 2004

sidewalks of new york

Despite my short temper, I can usually keep my shit together on the overly-crowded streets of New York City. I get annoyed and will curse and complain but I mostly keep my frustration to a minimum. In this city, you have to or you'll go absolutely insane. Coping mechanisms are key. I find that playing certain soundtracks in my head helps to keep my sense of humor in check. For example, when waiting to cross a street and faced with a large crowd on the opposite corner, I say to myself, "Hut, hut, hike!" when it's clear to walk. It makes the ensuing scrum that much more tolerable if I pretend I'm trying to break through to the endzone. I just have to remember not to get carried away and tackle someone or spike my messenger bag.

Furthermore, if I imagine that basketball court sneaker squeaking sound when I have to stop short and change direction, it helps in dealing with the tourists guilty of committing heinous walking crimes. David Letterman had a bit where he'd train a camera on a certain intersection and when the pedestrians walked, he'd announce their progress as if it was a horse race. This is a fun little game to play too. I've won the Triple Crown several times over just so you know. While some people are into meditation or yoga to help them cope, I make like Walter Mitty and just imagine my way to better mental health.

But if there's one issue that I do not have a sense of humor about, it's the whole door holding thing. Specifically, I'm referring to when I'm exiting and I hold the door for the person after me and they just breeze right past without holding it for the next person. So help me God, I will grab the next person who does this by the head and slam said door on it repeatedly. This really chaps my ass because I'm not content to just chalk it up to rudeness. I must overanalyze the behavior of the perpetrator to find out why I, of all people, was treated like a doorstop. In an instant, it becomes a sociological dissertation on class warfare, discrimination based on appearance, sexism, etc. Oh yeah, I'm a real barrel of laughs when this happens. Ain't persecution complexes fun?!?