March 29, 5:43 am
Wow it has been a while since I wrote here. I’ve been surfing the ‘net too much and I wanted to include more writing in my life (even though I am teaching and I have the four preps, three of which are new). We were cruising along and I handed back the first batch of papers too my 101/103 when into my class walks L___. Odd, thought I, why is my wife in my class? I had no idea what was going on, or what sort of looking glass I was falling through.
M___n, she announced, was in an ambulance and on his way th NY Hospital. His teacher from PS150Q called en route saying that he had “fallen and hurt his ankle.” [This is getting too elaborate and wordy so I'm going to cut detail ruthlessly!] We ponied up and cleared out our offices for the day, taking home grading, electronics and other necessities of the post-modern life.
The drive into Manhattan was painless enough but it took a while to find parking. I got out as Linda continued to search for parking Like Diogenes for an honest man on the Upper East Side. I went and found Mason and Mrs F. and he was watching an episode of Star Wars (III?) with a strangely twisted ankle:
Lots of other things happened, not the lest of which was being treated like a nitwit by the hospital staff because I do not speak their version of “medical insurance bureaucratese.” Mercifully L. was there to translate, and they finally took the xrays (negative), gave mason some crutches, and released us (on our own recognizance). It was 4:30 when we were released and the parking rules had changed where we had parked. Our car had been stolen by the city for our lack of attention to detail and the need to make York Ave more passable for rush hour. We took a minivan cab back to Queens picked up C and LX at Grandmother’s house (“over the river and through the woods” [god I love minivans]) contacting the city about our car on our crackberries on the way home. No sign of our car.
We ordered out, zonked by the experience, too hungry to be nice to one another for the our it would take to cook the pasta or rice or whatever. Linda was on the phone and internet for a few hours trying to track down “big sticky” (our car). Finally she found it hiding under an alias (the Z had been written as a 2).
At 8 I left the house with my mp3player and a book to read for school (Jihad vs. McWorld).
At 8:15 I was on a 7 train heading out of 61st street towards Manhattoes.
At 8:45 I was at the Hudson river and 42nd street having enjoyed my walk through times sq immensely (I rarely get into Manhattan during the semester).
At 8:55 I was in line at the pound with the other towees, trying to maintain my cool in light of the histrionics of a particular middle aged BMW owner. I read for a while but the show was too good so I wrote a poem about my fellow (non-)travelers on my crackberry.
The pound is like the post office on hormones.
It combines the impatient lines and hopeless tasks
With the bullet proof decor and public service hygene.
The despair of an all-night McDonalds clings to the vending machines
And usurious cash machine beckon the broke to try
The cash cards of vasectimized bank accounts.
Many are here in the course of regular car driving lives
Here with dates and husbands, work kits and tools
There’s a nice kid with a yarmulke a marketing t-shirt
A shot glass and booze breath wearing $200 shoes
All of our cars have been taken to this pound
Only to be released after excruciating bureaucracy.
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Just before 11 (not bad really) I was called to a window and made to jump through another six flaming hoops of bureaucracy by a woman with Queens accent and a Costco wardrobe and body. The Z formerly known as 2 on our license plate made it so that we had to negotiate for another 15 minutes over some Oswaldo Guzman who lived back in California and was supposed to be retrieving the car (I’ll bet that’s the closest he’ll ever come to visiting NYC [if he comes I hope he leaves his car in Cali, we have enough]). There was something wrong with the printer at her station and it took 10 more minutes for me to be given the Charlie Bucket golden ticket.
The cavernous pier was a site to behold filled with late model cars of every stripe with layers of grime that made them look cadaverous, though they were the latest, hippest and coolest cars to a one.
My last message, before I was able to leave the waiting-room-purgatory was:
Car towed while in Emergency Room: $300
3 hours at the New York City Impound Yard: Priceless
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