New York Kicked My Ass

Everyone who lives in New York – for any amount of time – knows that sometimes the city can kick your ass. As was the case for me last Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. The weather was shitty, the trains weren’t running to Astoria and I was in a dark, dark place. I knew if I stood on the subway platform waiting for whatever problem the MTA was having to be fixed that I might lose it. So I made a snap decision to try to hail a cab in the sleeting rain.

Again, if you’ve lived in the city at all, you know that trying to catch a cab in the rain is a foolish idea at best. Everyone else is thinking the same thing, making it near impossible to find an open taxi. I trudged for blocks towards the 59th Street bridge looking for that golden light; sliding on the icy sidewalk while trying not to break the vase of roses I was carrying and fighting with my inside-out umbrella. Not my finest hour.

imagesAt last, out of the downpour, a beaming yellow ray of hope came toward me and I ran. I threw everything into the back seat and tried not to sob my directions home. Blocks from my apartment my driver got a call on his cell phone. How could I not overhear? It was the hospital telling him they were releasing his wife before she was ready to go home. And, no, sorry, there was nothing he could do about it. In the longest conversation I’ve ever had with a taxi driver, he explained to me that his wife has heart troubles and needed to stay at the hospital until more fully recovered.

And just like that, my life came slamming into perspective. My suffering is trivial compared to theirs. I have my health. My husband has his health. We were planning a fun holiday dinner with family. Things are tough sometimes, sure, but that makes life interesting. And most days I’m glad to be along for the ride.

Through the plexiglass, I passed the driver a rose for his wife, wished him a Happy Thanksgiving and her a speedy recovery and got out of the cab. I’m grateful for this experience and what it taught me on that much needed day. I hope I can hold on to this lesson throughout the holiday season.

Speak Your Mind