She asked me for the time and that’s when I realized I was late… which is unusual for me, considering I am usually compulsively early to everything. So much so, in fact, that my premature arrival often results in my overthinking whatever it is I’m about to do, leading to intense paranoia and frequent last minute cancellations on my part.
To some, the situation may have seemed like a great opportunity to be freed of such socially paralyzing thoughts- but, no.
Actually, the opposite happened. It was so startling to learn I was late that, in response to the news, I stumbled backwards like a retard, dropping the Cool Blue Gatorade I was enjoying and, like a spaz, jerked around attempting to quickly retrieve it. In doing so, I clumsily scooped the bottle up, creating an upward waterfall-like spill motion… all over her white sun dress. The nice stranger lady just asked me for the time and I had instantly ruined her day. Impressive, I know. I quickly explained to her that I would normally do anything to help and clean her up, and that I also normally don’t spill things on strangers, most likely due to the fact that I’m never late, which I wouldn’t have known had she not asked me for the time, making the catastrophe entirely her fault. And, seriously, I can’t go into any further detail. I’ve gotta go, lady. Did I mention I’m late?
I rushed off and scurried as best as one can scurry through St. Mark’s Place. Basically, I walked closely behind strangers, enraged and sweaty from stress, barely avoiding a confrontation with five girls bearing multiple tattoos and, by the looks of it, way better reasons to be pissed off.
I was supposed to meet this guy I’ve dated off and on for six years by the stupid spinning cube located in the center of Astor Place. And I say six years loosely, in that throughout those years only about four months of time were exclusively devoted to our relationship. Nevertheless, this was a time sensitive date. One of the biggest issues we had in the past- or one of the biggest issues I had in the past was with being stood up or blown off by him on multiple occasions. So, any slight tardiness on my part could now be read as being vengeful or petty and, listen, I am way too clever and lazy to resort to such cliché forms of payback.
Of course, he was already there. On time. And checking his watch. I was, of course, instantly defensive- as if he’d arrived in such a timely manner only to show me up, even though I know he knows how uncomfortably early I arrive to things, and was probably there for a while due to sensitive consideration of this fact. But, whatever.
It was actually no big deal. As per usual, I was the only one stressed out and he seemed extra happy to see me. Super. For some reason, his positive attitude and affection towards me has always pissed me off. But today it was way more intense, having that “I have something I need to tell you” kind of vibe. And, about ten minutes into an amazingly uncomfortable conversation (for me) about my parents’ divorce, he said, “I have something I need to tell you.”
And, holy crap did he ever. He went into how great I am, and how I changed his life, and that he’s so happy to have met me, and he really wants to spend time doing whatever he can to help me follow my dreams and- yes, that’s right. This was the moment a girl dreams of. And yet, I wanted to knock him in the face. I thought it was going to be ideal, this little meeting. Sure, I’m not 100 percent together. But I’m way better emotionally than I was years ago, and I was ready to show off. OK. So, I’m not that impressive on paper. True. But I have some really interesting goals, all of which I’m actively pursing with vigor. I thought I had this in the bag. I wanted to win. But, as per usual, I forgot that time also passes for other people. And it did. He’s doing really well. He’s decided what creatively makes him happy and he’s managed to pursue some really impressive venues through which to display his work. And he’s accomplished all of this in a really short period of time, only further promoting the fact that he’s always had the talent. He just needed to channel the drive. Great. Just like that: instant success. I could vomit. And I did. But it was completely unrelated.
Michael (that’s not his name) discussed the details of his new job, publishing bi-monthly illustrations in a popular magazine. BORING. He was going on and on about his great career, when out of nowhere I was roughly poked on my shoulder from behind. I turned around with a bewildered sweaty eye-sting squint and quickly gathered that the poker, a rather large and abrasive woman, was somehow affiliated with the owner of the white dress I’d smurfed about an hour earlier. Yes. My old friend, the innocent victim of my nervous stupidity, stood cowering five steps behind her brawny finger-poking lady friend. My initial thought was that I couldn’t believe I’d been spotted. I’m sure my standing right next to a landmark point of interest, the conspicuous cube, didn’t help. But before I could even make an inappropriate comment, the big woman with the bad attitude punched me right in the gut, instantly releasing a bright blue vomit… all over her beatup Slayer t-shirt. It was not unlike the stain on the dress of the spineless time-junkie clutching her Whole Foods bag in the background like a nerd with a stack of school books. Michael instantly took my defense and told the stocky broad and her pussy friend to walk away or he would return the favor. And that’s when it hit me. Like a big blue vomit inducing brick of love. That’s the kind of guy I want, I thought. The kind of guy who would potentially hit a woman.