A couple of years ago on Halloween, Sifu and I made plans to travel to Manhattan to see the Village Halloween parade. I know, I know. But Halloween fell on a weekend that year and we were on vacation, and that particular parade is usually interesting and in light of how our evening turned out I can’t believe I am trying to justify this to you, four Simian Idiot readers! Stop judging me!
Anyway we took the bus downtown early, which one must do if the intention is to see any of the parade whatsoever, as it does get crowded. We found a nice clear spot right on the path of the parade and set up there, with hot cider drinks and happy dispositions, and we stood there for a good long while as the streets filled with merry-makers of every variety.
Once the parade started, the policemen who had been standing quite near us the whole time we were waiting came over and informed us (and all the other people near us) that we were not allowed to stand there anymore because that spot was reserved for some other group of assholes. By then, the rest of the route was packed with revelers and there was no-place whatsoever for us to go, so we explained that it might have been useful information an hour ago that we couldn’t stand there, as we could have relocated to an equally suitable spot, which was no longer an option, and the officers helpfully suggested that we fuck off and die. Of course I am paraphrasing. They just told us to get out before they beat us to death. Just kidding again - they told us to go away. But as the their lips said “go away”, their eyes said “fuck you”.
At that moment, the sky opened up and rain started pouring down on us, and Sifu realized that he had to pee out all that tasty cider he’d had, and a child kicked me and it was the worst parade of all time so we said “fuck this” and headed home. But the Halloween parade is not what I want to talk about today.
I want to talk about the bus ride TO the Halloween Parade, in which we got stuck in traffic for nearly an hour because a hotel was on fire.
The fire trucks were clogging up the street so our bus couldn’t get through, and we sat parked in one spot for a good long while. Eventually we got close enough to see some of the action. A few people, and granted they were not the most sophisticated specimens of all time but still, began taking pictures of the flames leaping from the hotel windows with their camera phones. Because let’s face it, that is an interesting sight, and as it turned out, it was the only interesting sight that two of us got to see that evening.
That is when the man seated behind me said something that interested me tremendously. With an exhausted tone (I could hear his eyes rolling as it said it), the man said, “Ugh. Some people act like they’ve never seen a hotel on fire before.”
I’ve lived in New York City my entire life, and that was the first time I’d ever seen a hotel on fire. I guess I don’t go to the right kind of hotels.
Sifu and I started using that line all night, though. As we left the parade in defeat, a man went by in assless pants. Some tourists broke their necks to get an eyefull, and we said, “Ugh. Some people act like they’ve never seen a man’s naked ass on a busy city street before.” As it was Halloween, a good 90% of the ladies at the parade were dressed as “Slutty ______________” (maid, devil, cop, nurse, etc.) Every time somebody whipped their head back to get a look at some passing nudity, we said, “Ugh. Some people act like they’ve never seen a stranger’s vulva in front of Starbucks before.”
I thought I was a jaded, hardened son of a bitch until that man showed me up. You have to be bored at the sight of a flaming building full of terrified fleeing tourists in this city before you can say you’re aloof around here.
It sure gave me something to aspire to.
The reason I’m telling this seasonal story now, over seven months from Halloween, is because this is what my life feels like at this moment. Like a hotel inferno in the middle of a throbbing metropolis on the day of the dead, and I’m stuck on a bus in traffic watching it through a greasy window. This is nobody’s fault but my own. I should be setting the fires in my life, instead of watching them cause havoc.
Maybe once I get through this traffic jam, I will start.
COMMENT OF THE DAY: “You get my vote for Ms. Congeniality.” - MidLyfeMama