There I was lost in Brooklyn, again, wondering why its inhabitants never seem to know the territory. I had just spent 20 minutes asking various people where Calyer Street was amazed how no one had a clue. I mean it’s your neighborhood, wouldn’t you more or less know its streets?
You come to my neck of the woods and I can pretty much direct where you need to be. What is the problem In Greenpoint? I know why it baffles me so…it’s the industrial section of Brooklyn. If it were Brooklyn Heights or Park Slope I’d be sailing along with little problem, the Brooklyn Bridge beaming in the distance.
But not in this section of town that appears wrapped in fog in more ways than one.
I must have asked 12 people with accents and puffy coats, where is Calyer Street? I can’t say how relieved I was when I spotted a UPS man who let’s just say was a little short on charm.
Bounding over to him like a lost puppy, before I could speak he peered over a pair of readers and said, “What is it lady, you look desperate.”
“Well, I guess I am,” I said, quickly disarmed. “I need to get to Calyer Street and I’m running late…apparently it’s south of Manhattan Avenue…do you know where it is?”
“Is that a joke?” he said, his lip curling as if he smelled something foul. “I’m the fucking UPS man. Of course I know where it is.”
His cursing startled me so much that I began to stutter. “Um, yeah…of course you do. I a…I don’t know what I was thinking.”
“You weren’t,” he said with a sneer. You need to turn around and go 2 blocks down and you’ll run right into it. Why you women never consult a map I’ll never understand.”
I took umbrage at this remark since I did Hopstop it before I came. Hotstop is a handy site where if you put in your destination from where you depart, it tells you exactly how to go along with the length of time it takes to get there. What it doesn’t explain is north and south which is what I was having trouble with since, you know… I’m a model, not Magellan?
“For the record, I did consult a map,” I told him defensively. “It’s just very confusing once you get here.”
“Well it’s a good thing I don’t have that trouble since I wouldn’t have a job. I suggest you get a better map or a companion.”
Okay…he was getting to me now, his snottiness hitting its peak.
“You know, you could be a little nicer,” I said. “What’s your problem anyway?”
“My problem is I have deliveries to make and you’re wasting my time. I’m a very busy man.”
“You’re a very rude man. The UPS man in my neighborhood would never act like this.”
“Oh yeah, and what neighborhood might that be?”
“The Upper East Side of Manhattan. He would never talk to me the way you just did…shame on you.”
“Shame on me? You’re the one’s who’s lost lady and you’re one of those uppity Upper Eastsiders which explains a lot.” I live in New York remember so it takes a lot to throw me, but he certainly managed it.
“Honestly…I’m stunned by you. You’ve made me hate it here even more.”
“Oh, poor girl…maybe you’d like me to drive you to where you have to go.”
“What I’d really like is for you to fuck off. How’s that? I can be rude too you know.”
To inflame me even more, the sonofabitch started to laugh. I mean really laugh like I was a seal doing tricks. I finally turned on my heel and left and don’t you know, after all of that, he sent me in the wrong direction.
Thank God for the little gelati man who set me straight. He even gave me a complimentary scoop…to calm my nerves, he said.
“Your gonna make yourself ‘a sick lady,” he said, stuffing some mango ice into a cup. “I know that UPS man…he no nice…he never buy my gelati.”
“Well it is a little chilly out remember.”
“But not enough not to enjoy a little.” He was so earnest it was worth the shiver that scoop cost me not to mention his unexpected kindness restoring my faith..however I think I’m using FedEx from here on in.
I mean really…
who was that guy?