Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Reds and Blues

Reds and Blues

So, you had a few drinks last night. It was your roommate's birthday party, and you were bowling. Beer is a staple of such activities. You had fun, you bowled well, you were thoroughly embarrassed when your drunken roomie began divulging some highly personal information about you to all of her friends, but you got over that, hugged your hugs, goodbyed your goodbyes, and made a swift exit, on to your next party out in Brooklyn.

About half a block from the bowling alley you realize your feet feel funny. Kind of uncomfortable, kind of slippy. Looking down, you realize you still have you bowling shoes on. Bad enough you're wearing your bright green and yellow kickball shirt, you are now also wearing your bright red and blue bowling shoes. Lovely.

You're only half a block away from the bowling alley, but still:

A) You really do want to get to that other party.

B) You can probably just get your shoes back tomorrow.

C) You just left a reasonably good first impression with your roommate's friends at her party. Are you going to go back in there and say, "Oh, also, did I mention that I'm a dipshit? I just wanted make sure I didn't leave without you thinking 'that guy's a dipshit...'"

A, B, and C all apply, but what really wins you over is

D) It makes a better story to tell.

Onward to the subway.

You won't leave the other party until about 2am, and when you do, you will be significantly more inebriated than you were when you when mistook what was on your feet. You will now actually get lost in your friend's apartment building and have to call her to show you where the exit is. Things are looking up.

On the street now, there are no cabs around. Subway it is.

Now, there is nobody in the subway station. Nobody.

When you go down to the train platform you will be met with a most eerie silence. Not a soul. Not a sound.

And cue paranoia...nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnow.

Is this dangerous, to be waiting on a platform when there's literally nobody else around? Also, this is the G train we're talking about here; what if it's not even running right now? What if someone tried something with me? I guess I'd probably run. Oh, wait, I can't run.. I'M WEARING BRIGHT RED AND BLUE BOWLING SHOES.

Here's where you start hating your shoes. It's like having flashing neon bulls-eyes strapped to your body. You want nothing more than to have these god damn things off your feet. You may start berating yourself, "'A good story to tell'?? You dickhead! Yeah, it'll be a great story unless you die with these clownshoes strapped to your stupid feet!"

Don't people live in the subway tunnels? The mole people?

You look way down into the tunnel. You don't see any mole people, but you're pretty sure you can sense their presence; watching you, waiting, and now that you've looked, they know that you know that they're there.

That's it, you're calling a cab.

But wait, there was no one on the street, either, and you've never been to this neighborhood before. Would you be even more of a sitting duck (with red and blue feet) out there in the open? Normally your "Yeah, I'm big and tough" walk/stance keeps trouble at bay; you can't help but wonder, though, if the bright red and blue shoes mightn't undermine such pretense, somehow. How long might it be before you catch a cab? Mightn't you miss the train while you were up there? And if you heard it coming, what're you going to do, run for it? You can't run in clown shoes!

Is the G train even running? I'll wait.

Wait, no, the fucking mole people are going to come any second now.


You go upstairs, and sure enough, you see a sign indicating that there is, in fact, a 24 hour booth, at the other side of the station. After debating for a few minutes whether it's better to exit the subway system and walk straight to the booth (risking missing the train because you can't run), or to walk down the train platform, you decide exit and go straight to the booth on the strength of the argument that you can't run from the mole people, either, and those guys can scurry, you bet.

Walking toward the station agent's booth, you ready yourself. You know perfectly well that the little Communications Center in your brain is not working perfectly right now. Your thoughts seem lucid enough, but you realize that you're fantasizing about people living in the tunnels, and god only knows what's going to come out of your mouth when you open it up. He's talking to another employee in the booth, when you arrive. She indicates your presence, he turns around, looks at you, and says, "Uh-oh..."

...Uh-oh!? Why'd he say "Uh-oh"? What did I do? ...did he notice the shoes?

No sudden moves now.

Things at the booth go about as well as could be hoped for. The G train is running, it's just only coming every 20 minutes. Okay, thank you.

Start to leave. Go back to the booth.

"Actually, where could I catch a cab?" He tells you an intersection a few blocks away where you might catch one. Okay, great.

Start to leave. Go back to the booth.

"But I might miss the train and still not catch a cab..." The guy shrugs. Pause. He's getting leary of you. Pause. "Okay, if you were me, what would you?" He says just wait for the train. Awesome. Thanks.

Start to leave. Get to the turnstile. CLUNK. Go back to the booth.

"I just used this card at the other end...", he waves you back to the gate, where it beeps, and let's you through. Say, "Thanks" again. Courtesy counts.

You'll want to ask if you can just wait up there with him, because of the mole people and all, but you don't. You go back down to the platform, and assume your best "I'm big and tough" look for the benefit of the mole people until ten minutes later your train comes.

You get home just fine.

I will leave you all with this, though. Before leaving the party at your friend's house, your stoned ass called the bowling alley to inform them of your mistake, at which time, you posed for the following, classic, photograph.

Goodnight, and good luck.

-BR 11.27.06

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