Tuesday, December 20, 2005
This morning at around 3am, the MTA went on strike. All subway and bus lines were shut down. Traffic restrictions limited vehicles into Manhattan, mandating that each vehicle have at least four people in it before entering the city. Seven million New Yorkers needed to find an alternate way to get to work this morning. I mean, fuck.
This was originally supposed to happen last Friday, and so I was indifferent about it. I only really have to leave the house the one day a week that I work - Tuesday. Otherwise, I'm content to sit at home. Everything I need in my life is within walking distance of my apartment: food, booze, chaffy handjobs from Chinese immigrants who don't have all their teeth but really know how to handle a bird, etc. I figured that the strike would happen on Friday but then would be resolved by the time the next Tuesday rolled around, when I had to go to work. Once again, I escape unscathed.
Of course, the strike was delayed until today, and my ass had to walk to work in the cold weather (wind chill: 19º). Fortunately, I live only about a twenty-five minute walk to work. Not great, but it could have been much, much worse. So I tried to maintain a positive attitude (hey, I only work one day a week) and took the transit strike for what it's worth: an opportunity to show up egregiously late to work.
When I strolled in forty-five minutes late this morning, I was the last person in my department to do so. Because I really don't pay attention to most of the emails I get at work that aren't from my friends, I didn't notice that my firm (which is even more prestigious than Opinionista's) had developed a balls-out contingency plan. Busses were dispatched to all five boroughs, operating every half hour with multiple stops, making it very convenient for my co-workers to get to work. I even heard one co-worker say that because of the firm's efforts, his commute was actually better than normal. But like I said, I didn't read these emails because I figured that the strike would be resolved by today and if not, I'd just walk anyway. And come in really, really late.
Yet everyone else was here on time, if not earlier. They woke up early, waited for firm busses, and made it to work to do their job. Meanwhile, I woke up late, took an extra long shower, ate TWO bowls of cereal, and stopped off at the Starbucks just outside my office for a leisurely hot chocolate, taking my time and listening to my iPod the whole way, occasionally stopping to window shop. I could almost imagine my two bosses watching me dilly-dally around the building from their office window:
Boss 1: "There's Jason. And he's going into Starbucks."
[twelve minutes later]
Boss 2: "Look - he just came out."
B1: "And he sure is taking his sweet time to get to the building."
B2: "Look Ted - he appears to be arguing with that homeless woman."
B1: "HOLY GEEZ! He just threw his coffee in her face!"
B2: "And now they're fighting!"
[Boss 1 and Boss 2 watch in shocked silence as Jason and the Homeless Woman begin to tussle. It appears that Jason has the upper hand, but soon the Homeless Woman starts getting the best of him with a series of swift headbutts. Jason responds in kind.]
B1: "Good lord! He's really fighting dirty!"
B2: "I've never seen such gratuitous use of teeth and elbows!"
B1: "Oh wait - here comes the police to break things up."
[Both bosses watch as the police separate the two combatants. Jason, the more cantankerous of the two, is sprayed with mace. Homeless Woman laughs and claps her hands as Jason writhes in pain, first against a car, and then on the ground. After getting an emergency radio call, the two police officers flee the scene.]
B1: "Well I'm glad that's over with. I need him here today, because I need him to [some business related task that Jason surely doesn't understand]."
B2: "Check it out - Jason and the homeless woman are shaking hands."
[Jason and Homeless Woman begrudgingly shake hands.]
B1: "That's always good to see. Even though it wasn't a fair fight, at least it's ending well."
[Boss 1 moves away from the window, thinking the matter is over.]
B2: "Oh no, Ted. You gotta see this!"
B1: "What is it, Max?"
B2: "Jason is...Jason and the homeless woman are kissing."
[Cut to view of street below. Jason and the Homeless Woman are kissing - not lustily, but rather softly, delicately, staring into each other's eyes. Both start crying.]
B1: "Hmph. I thought he was gay."
B2: "I was pretty sure he was gay."
B1: "Well, I guess the strike makes people do crazy things."
[Both sip their coffee in silence, watching from the window while Jason and the Homeless Woman affectionately kiss and giggle like seventh graders. Some tickling is involved, and possibly baby talk. Six seconds pass.]
B1: "Well, back to work."
[I don't really know where to go from here, so I'm just going to end it. Kinda got away from me there. Oh well.]