la Ketch

my life story

Friday, June 09, 2006

loosely based on Dead City (more so inspired by)

I was taking the subway home late last night. I got off the "1/9" so that I could transfer to the "L". There was this girl walking in front of me. She had a really big ass. I couldn't see her face but I would have bet that she was very pretty. She was tall and had really long wavy hair. Her walk was heavy and she was not very coordinated. I couldn't stop staring at her ass because just under her left butt cheek there was a huge rip in her jeans that went horizontally across the entire length of the back of her thigh. This is not a good look on the thinnest of people and on her it was not helping a bit. I had to come to the conclusion that the rip was not intentional, that her jeans were too tight and she sat down too quickly and they ripped accidentally. But the one thing throwing it off for me was that she was wearing a sweater. It wasn’t that cold out, it was quite warm and she could have easily taken off the sweater and tied it around her waist, covering the slit in her pants until she could get home and change them but for some reason she didn’t choose to do this. Maybe it didn’t occur to her. I felt a sudden, certain camaraderie with this girl for some reason. I kept fantasizing walking up along side her and saying something like, “hey, you should take off your sweater and tie it around your waist.” “Oh thank you so much that’s a great idea,” she would gratefully reply. We were walking on the platform towards the stairs and she was still ahead of me as I was having these thoughts but not acting on them and then she hit the third from the top step going up and just about face planted. She tripped right on her flip flops and fell hard. It was an insane trip. I thought for sure she was going to come up bawling. I would have been crying for sure but she didn’t cry. She shoved herself up very quickly and examined her hands which I’m sure were scuffed and a little bleeding. She was pissed and embarrassed. She looked around to see if anyone had seen and then she sort of ran/walked into the long tunnel between the "1/9" train and the "L". She didn’t see me see her fall.

If you don’t know this tunnel, let me explain that it is a tunnel that you have to walk through if you want to get from the "1/9" train to the "L" train without going outside and paying another fare. It is as long as one Avenue (pretty long) and it is tiled with yellowed, white, echoey tiles and lit with horrible florescent lights. It is claustrophobic and disgusting. I used to have to walk through this tunnel twice a day every day to go to work and home again. Luckily I don’t have to do that anymore. Once I was walking through this tunnel with the Sneezemeister. If you don’t know who the Sneezemeister is, picture Simon Cowel from American Idol without the English Accent. I was walking through the tunnel with the Sneezemeister and I said to him, “I hate this tunnel. I always feel like a rat when I'm walking through this tunnel.” And he said, “Really? I always feel like I’m on a catwalk.”

I wanted to run up to the girl again, walk alongside her again and just say to her sort of non-chalantly, “hey, I totally saw you fall back there. Are you okay? God I do that stuff all the time. I’m such a clumsy person. It always shakes me up though. Are you sure you’re okay?” And she would be like, “oh my God I know. I was so embarrassed. Thanks so much for saying something.”

Sister sister, I understand. Sister, you are going to be okay….

I didn’t run up to her and say anything partly because I was shy and I thought I would embarrass her but the main thing that stopped me was that I was afraid that no one had ever reached out to her before in her life and that she would be so relieved that she would glob on to me and force me to give her my phone number and then I would have to hang out with her all the time. Isn’t that the most whacked out thought to have ever? Yeah, I had it.

As we were walking along the tunnel, I saw a poster for the new Superman movie. It’s a great poster, very aesthetically pleasing and gawd, this guy looks like Christopher Reeve, doesn’t he? The movie is called “Superman Returns” and I wondered how it must feel for his wife, to have this movie come out with a young version of her dead handicapped husband “returning.” I felt like that would be a pretty fucked up thing to have to deal with. Then I remembered that she was dead too. I felt sort of relieved for her. Then I thought of their son. Would they invite Christopher Reeve’s son to the premier? Huh.

When I was in elementary school, every year around Christmas time the police department would fly Santa into the soccer field in a helicopter. This would be cool on it’s own but for my sister and I it was especially cool because our dad was flying the helicopter. Of course I told everyone that my dad knew Santa personally. This was the second grade that I’m remembering clearly now and most people still believed in Santa then. I did not because my second grade teacher read us “Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing” out loud that year, a book that I had already read, and when she got to the part where Peter questions if there is a Santa, she skipped over it. I could see her sort of read ahead and see what was happening and then skip it. If Santa did exist, she wouldn’t have skipped that part. She would have just explained that Peter was wrong but she couldn’t do that. She couldn’t do it because Santa wasn’t real. I had been suspecting as much for a while. Still, it didn’t stop me from making up all sorts of stories about how my dad flew Santa to the North Pole and brought Rudolph carrots. When my dad flew Santa in on the soccer field all of the kids would line up and get to go out and look at the helicopter but my sister and I got to sit INSIDE the helicopter while they passed along, my dad answering their questions, how fast does it fly, etc., us waving. We were royalty.

The junior high school we went to was right next door to the elementary school and when you were in the eighth grade, one of the electives you could choose was to be a teacher’s aid. The year after my dad died I went to help my Second Grade teacher one hour a day, the same class room and everything. Around Christmas time the police department flew Santa into the soccer field and we took the kids out to look at the helicopter. I really wanted to go out there, even though my old second grade teacher told me that I could go home if I wanted to. I walked out there with the kids and we listened to the police officer and we walked back. I guess I was hoping that when I went out there my dad would be there and he’d lift me up into the helicopter and he’d be alive again but that didn’t happen. On the way back to the classroom I was talking to one of the little second graders who I liked. In a lame attempt to reclaim my celebrity I told her, “when I was your age, my dad used to fly the helicopter. He would bring Santa.” She said, “I wouldn’t want my dad to fly a helicopter. I’d be afraid something would happen.” Children can be so intuitive. My old second grade teacher must have said something to the class about what had happened. I walked home instead of going back to the classroom.

I think that’s about how Christopher Reeve’s son would feel if he went to the premiere of “Superman Returns”.

Once we got through the tunnel and onto the platform for the “L”, the train was just pulling up. It was too late to say anything to the girl but I really wanted to see what her face looked like so I made sure to get in her car. She was even prettier than I had imagined. I took a seat and looked around me. I was having one of those very awake and in the moment moments. I was thinking things like, “these are the people I am riding the train with right now. We are all in this one car. Never again will this particular group of people be together in a space again.” I thought about how people would react if we got stuck under water, who might rise up and lead us, keep us calm, who might have food in their back pack. I was looking around at what the women were wearing, checking them out. I am constantly doing this and I continue to be amazed at how beautiful so many women in New York are. Some of them really knock me out with how they put themselves together. I take notes on their outfits (must get silver ballet flats, head bands look cool if you have bangs, etc.). I’m amazed at how good someone can look if they have a good sense of style, even if they have no money. It reminds me that creativity is valuable. I was considering all of this when it occurred to me, “maybe she didn’t even know that her pants had split?!” Could it be? Could she just have been completely oblivious? Because how could anyone A. make that choice consciously or B. not tie the sweater around their waist once the choice had been made for them.

I guess I’ll just never know.


At 1:50 PM, Blogger HappyBabee said...

So funny to read this crunk and then scroll down to see that dead sexy picture of you.
I also, especially love the reasoning behind why you wouldn't approach her. Funny stuff.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger pete. said...

Would anyone in New York approach someone like that? My ideas about NY are from tv.

I love this post. I feel kinda anxious now. In a good way, if that's possible...

At 8:12 PM, Blogger P'tit Boo said...

I adored this post.

Your ability to remember your thoughts is just amazing.
I think i am a pretty aware person but I just realized reading this post, that I am super good at remembering my emotions and how things make/made me feel but *not* the thoughts that lead to that.

Thank you. You've just taught me a lot and also I was moved. I love your curiosity and engagement with the world around you.

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Brikin Blog said...

Yes. This is awesome.

At 11:27 PM, Blogger ketchummccabe said...

you make me laugh, you make me cry, and you make me think deep thoughts. I love you, my preacious first born.

At 3:02 AM, Blogger tina said...

Hot damn, mama. What an excellent fucking post!

At 7:17 PM, Blogger la Ketch said...

wow, gee thanks everyone. i appreciate you reading it. xo xo!!

At 11:13 PM, Blogger A Large Slice of Cake said...

...and I must add that I instantly knew which 1/9 and L tunnel you were talking about, and I HATE it. It is the sour pit of mold-dripping doom! Great post, I agree.


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