I work in New York City. It's full of nutters. Go figure.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Tuesday September 28th

This morning, outside the stinky restaurant on 32nd St, there was a large pool of vomit. Unsurprisingly. I always want to vomit when I pass the stinky restaurant. How anyone can eat there after experiencing the stench outside amazes me. I think 32nd St, between 5th and 6th is one of the most rancid, stinking shithole blocks in Manhattan.

Yesterday, I saw two entirely different middle-aged mustachioed white men walking along Park Avenue at different times, playing harmonicas.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Friday September 24th.

Not much this morning. Just a lot of people wearing very bad shoes. Spongy shoes. And the realisation that there is no 4th Avenue.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Thursday September 23rd.

This morning I sat next to the most enormous woman I have ever seen in my life.

Don't get me wrong, she wasn't fat, she was just the largest female I've ever seen in my life. Ever. She must have been about 6"4, and she was built like a brick shit-house. She was actually quite scary to behold. But like I said, she wasn't fat, she was just enormously big and solid. Like a troll, or Hagrid from Harry Potter.

There was one seat left on the train between me and a corporate drone in khaki trousers and blue button-down shirt, and as she approached, I quivered with fear and thought, "Oh no, come on, no fucking way, you're not going to..... shit, yes you are.... shit, I'm going to be crushed to death."

Hagrid turned around (everyone ducked) and then she sat down. Or rather, only a very little bit of her sat down. She was so big she couldn't fit anything except the very tip of her arse on the seat, so she kind of perched precariously on it, her legs spread out before her like giant logs, while towering above the quivering masses. I was scared if the train jolted to a halt, she'd topple over on me like a large tree and squash me. I held myself in readiness to run.

She got up and thundered off the train at 14th St. I was extremely relieved. Where the fuck can she get her clothes from? We're talking waaaaaaaay beyond Long Tall Sally here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Tuesday September 21st

Yesterday was a washout. My heart was full of fear and dread and Britney Spears.

This morning's statistics:

Number of bachelorettes with sunglasses perched on top of their heads: 53

Number of bachelorettes without sunglasses perched on top of their heads: 13

Number of businessmen in spongy shoes clenching their hands compulsively: 1

Number of homeless people singing: 1

Number of homeless people not singing, just hanging out looking miserable: 3

Number of small women with large arses who shouldn't really wear stripey blazers and jeans too tight for them: 2

Number of people smiling: 1 (no, it wasn't me)

Number of people looking miserable/bored/indifferent/angry/preoccupied: 30,000

Number of men in khaki trousers with light blue button down shirts: 73,486

Number of building security guards who have known me for months and still refuse to smile at me ever: 1

Number of women braying loudly and uninterestingly about their ratdogs in the elevator: 5

Friday, September 17, 2004

Friday September 17th.

When I arrived at work today I had an email from a friend. She'd forwarded me a message from this person who clearly doesn't like me at all.

Here's what he says about me in an email to lots of people:

I rarely go out of my way to talk about a web site I don't like, but
this one bugs me in particular. I found the link on
www.themorningnews.org – a site I like. It's here:


BUT DON'T YOU DARE CLICK ON IT!! I guess it bothers me primarily
because it feels like many of the "CONS" of personal web writing have
been kind of test-marketed and researched and creative briefed to
produce this automatic site. It's got:

- stories of new york city (as someone who hates tremble once said:
"Only in New York!!")
- a ritualistic account of someone's daily commute (a hook! it's daily!
it's never been done quite so self-consciously! no need for a press
- a name and url that magically and literally dovetail with said
content hook (guess what my site's about!)
- intelligently written, but done so in a tone that is more
self-conscious than anything i've seen in a long time, as the writer
bears witness to the world's Nutty and Shitty and Rude and Beautiful
Stuff™ without action but with great reserved judgment. one of my
least favorite things is the writer-as-hero technique – and i'm not
totally immune to it myself – where the writer talks about all of the
wonderfully witty things he or she would have said to Cunty Person A,
and then at the end sort of half-admitting he or she never said any of
those things but, instead, said something sort of polite and mousey.
to the public world, a boring incident. but to the reader – a
brilliant bit of Oscar Wildean rebuke!!! (totally imagined)
- zero tits

The only thing it's missing is one of those "My Current Mood Is.."
buttons and a photograph of the author on a rooftop, with a view of a
water tower in the background."

Oh dear. Whatever shall I do?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Thursday September 16th.

This morning, walking to the station, I saw this squirrel running round and round a tree trunk really fast. It looked like a small furry fan-belt. On a tree.

And then I started thinking, maybe the squirrel was mad. Maybe it had Mad Squirrel Disease. Or maybe it wasn't mad, it was just happy. But what would make a squirrel happy? What would make a squirrel unhappy, if it came to that. Did squirrels go mad? What would make them mad? Did other squirrels notice if they became mentally ill? Would they be able to do anything about it - I'm thinking squirrel group therapy here - or would they just ignore the mad squirrel or beat it to death or something.

Then I realised that somewhere in the world there are people who are experts on squirrels, who know all about this. There is probably someone who is acknowledged as the world's foremost authority on squirrels. Maybe there are rivals for the title, who argue fiercely in scientific journals and slag each other off at squirrel conferences in Rio and Tel Aviv.

Just a thought. Or two.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Tuesday September 14th.

A man followed me down the street this morning shouting something unintelligible at me about America.

Then I saw a couple waiting to cross the street ahead of me. He was wearing very tight jeans, a striped shirt (un-tucked) and sunglasses perched on top of his over-gelled hair. He looked like a losing finalist on American Idol. As it was about to rain, I wanted to tell him that wearing sunglasses looked rather idiotic. But I didn't. If I'd been his girlfriend I would have, though. But she had wildly over-plucked eyebrows, so I dare say she likes that kind of thing.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Monday September 13th

This morning, there was a couple walking ahead of me on the street, just slowly enough that I wanted to get past them, but they were stolid enough to block me. For a while I fantasised about killing them.

He was wearing black wraparound shades and looked like he habitually over-uses a rather strong cologne. She was wearing what looked at first glance, like grey pyjamas. On closer inspection it appeared to be a grey trouser suit. Made out of pyjama material. It clung to her bottom. That was not a nice sight for me. Down below, the trousers flooded over her feet, rendering her essential bachelorette pedicure quite pointless. Her shoulder pads were spongy, but limp. They looked like they had given up the fight and were resigned to their humiliating existence as props for the worst suit ever designed, ever made and ever worn. The couple were not holding hands and did not speak a single word to each other all the time I was behind them.

I lost them on the way to the subway, but as I got off my train, she was in front of me and I had to walk up the stairs behind her, fascinated by the way the grey pyjamas stuck to her arse. I couldn't understand why anyone would ever wear, let alone buy a suit of grey pyjamas.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Friday September 10th.

On the plane yesterday, the steward spilled red wine all over my jacket. Because I was in public, I couldn't just lick it all off, which was a shame. After I left the plane the woman who'd been sitting next to me told me I should put the jacket in a bag with dishwasher liquid overnight and then wash it and the stains would come out. I thanked her politely, but as I was staying in a hotel, it wasn't really a practical option for me.

Imagine my surprise, when I got to my hotel and found a washing machine and a dryer in a cupboard in my room. Fate, I tell you, fate.

This morning, as I was wandering around town looking for an internet cafe, a middle-aged couple walked towards me. Then the woman suddenly turned to the man and sniffed him. As they passed, I could hear her saying, "There's so many other smells in the air today.....". Quite true.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Thursday September 9th.

I'm not going to work today. I'm going to Canada instead, but I daresay odd things will happen there. They seem to happen everywhere for me. Or maybe it's all in my head. I don't know.

Yesterday evening I was taking the 6 train downtown and while I waited for a train I went to sit down on one of the platform benches. I noticed that on the seat next to mine, someone had drawn an erect penis and written "sit on my dick" underneath it. I wondered why someone would do that.

I also wonder who the woman who always stares at me in the elevator will stare at while I'm gone?

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Wednesday September 8th.

This morning when I opened my front door, I was confronted by water. Lots and lots and lots of water. I would have had to swim to reach the end of my block. I considered whether I loved my job enough to wade through rain water and backed up drains. I decided that although I love my job very very much indeed, I did not love it that much. So I went back inside and waited until the water had receded.

At the station, the trains were fucked up and a woman stood aggressively near me on the platform, as everyone was desperate to get a seat. I hated her for standing so close to me, but I wasn't going to give up my seat-guaranteed spot on the platform, which is what I think she secretly desired. I had the last laugh though, when I managed to translate a tannoy announcement that the train on the other platform - which had been out of service - was now going our way. I zipped across and bagged my seat. She reacted too slow and had to stand. I was delighted. I am a mean-minded person.

Later, I saw a woman whose jeans were way too tight. It was most unattractive.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Tuesday September 7th.

As I passed the fishmongers this morning an elderly lady came barrelling out of the shop and barged into me, all the while making farty noises with her mouth. After she colllided with me, she glared at me and muttered something in Spanish. Then she walked off, making more farty noises. I have not the faintest idea what all that was about.

Later I saw an extremely tall anorexic girl walking almost side by side with a woman so short and so fat she appeared circular.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Friday September 3rd. Lunchtime.

Sometimes, the little victories are the sweetest.

I was buying my lunch and this big beardo-weirdo man in a trucker hat was completely blocking my way to the cold drinks cabinet while he took three hours to ponder what flavour Snapple he wanted. I knew what I wanted, but could I get to it? No I fucking could not. Eventually Snapple moo-cow moved on and managed to bag the only free till, while I had to join the queue behind a woman who seemed to find operating her purse and paying for her food an insurmountable task.

I eventually got to the head of the queue and lo and behold over strolled moo-cow man. Behind me. Turns out there was no-one at his 'free till', so he ended up paying after me. Ha! Ha! Fucker! I win! Ha! I am drunk with victory.

Friday September 3rd

There was a woman on my train who was so fucking tense she made me vibrate.

She moved seats three times for no discernible reason. She sighed loudly. She twiddled endlessly. When we got to the last stop she sprinted out of the train and was quickly lost to view. I hated her. Then I realised, maybe she'd had a death in the family or something. Then I realised I hated her anyway.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Thursday September 2nd

I got on the train today and there was only one empty seat. It was empty for a reason. A blonde matchstick of a bachelorette in the seat next to it had made it so, by leaving her bag on it and by sitting with her legs crossed so that she was occupying half of it, as well as her own seat.

Congragulations, dear, I thought. You almost pulled it off. But now I am here and I am going to sit down in that seat, so you had better understand the nature of defeat. As I walked towards her she glanced up from her newspaper and I foolishly imagined she would politely move her bag. She did not. I stood before her and said, "Excuse me......" at which she snatched her bag away sulkily without looking at me. I expected her to also shift so that she wasn't taking up half my seat, but she did not.

So I sat down and nuged her bony bulimic arse aside with my ample saddle-bags. That showed her. Oh yeah. But to my surprise, she carried on leaning into my airspace as she read her piece of shit Metro (they have LARGE TYPE for people like her), turning the pages of her paper in front of my face as if she was sharing it with me. No thanks. I have my own paper, and I paid for it because it is the NY Times. And although it has a few shortcomings - not the least of which is a total sense of humour failure - I prefer it to your piece of shit Metro.

So I raised my own paper and we began our silent page-turning war. She got in my face, and I in turn, got in hers. Nobody really won. But when she flounced off at 23rd street I wanted to scream "Fuck off and die bitch. I hope your fiance sleeps with your maid of honour" (I know how to wound a bachelorette).

But I didn't. Life is full of little disappointments like that.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Wednesday September 1st

I didn't go into the city yesterday. I was sick, so the only interesting thing I saw was my bedroom, which, frankly, is in need of a good tidy-up.

This morning the woman at the newspaper stand told me I was looking pretty. It was nice of her but I was unconvinced, as I was well aware that my skirt doesn't fit properly, this top is dull and my little cardigan is not just five, but ten whole minutes ago. And my hair is limp. But then, it's always limp. But still, maybe she thought I needed a boost, looking this bad.

The men with machine guns weren't there this morning. I guess they know something I don't. Like, that terrorists don't attack on Wednesday mornings. Or maybe they were off shooting crusties at Madison Square Gardens. I felt disinctly less nervous, though. Perhaps because when they give me those evil suspicious looks I feel the urge to confess, confess, confess. Not sure what I'm supposed to confess, but I want to throw myself on their mercy anyway. Nuns have the same effect on me.