What’s The Big Hurry?

imagesI fell flat on my face yesterday.

How attractive was that?

My impatience got the better of me as I charged down 80th Street to make the light. My white Chuck Taylors, having seen better days, tripped over a break in the pavement plunging me headfirst like a detonated missile.

It’s such an odd feeling when you fall, as if from the time you travel now on the ground, you lost a beat wondering, wow…how the fuck did I get here?

So now I’m laying on my chest, pretty sure I didn’t break anything, a blessing if there ever was one being so thin and all. Also, we mustn’t forget the side effects of all the steroids I’ve been on that nibbles your bones like a woodpecker.

A doorman came to my aid helping me up, while another man asked if I was okay… impressive for the Madison Avenue crowd.

But then this well-heeled lady appeared out of nowhere in a fur coat and pumps.

“What may I ask is the big hurry?” she said, the way your mother might. “That was quite a spill you took.”

“Yeah, I know. I was trying to make the light.”

“You risk killing yourself for a stupid light?”

I began to feel embarrassed.

There’s a reason I don’t like waiting on that corner, one I didn’t share. It was the last time I saw my friend Nan alive. It was a Thursday, and I was walking home to find her waiting for a cab standing along Madison. The image, though 8 years ago, is still fresh. We looked a lot alike, though she was much tinier referring to ourselves as Big and Little Thin.

She had on black tights and a matching pencil skirt, her red, vintage Burberry three-quarter raincoat with the collar flipped up. Black ballerinas on her dainty feet while a breeze swept through her short, black hair.

At that point she was quite ill, waiting to be admitted to the Rusk Institute as a last resort, despite hopelessness clearly felt.

The last thing she said to me was, “If they don’t have a place for me within the next few day, that’s it.”

“What do you mean, that’s it?”

She just shook her head and said, “I’m not waiting anymore.” I then watched her weakly gallop across to Fifth to catch a cab there.

It was the last time I saw her.

The Rusk Institute said, she had to wait a month.

She took her life that Saturday.

The well-heeled woman was still looming as these thoughts tore through my mind.

“You’re right. I shouldn’t be in such a hurry,” I said, agreeably. “What’s a minute or two in the grand scheme of things.”

“That’s right. There’s no point in killing yourself.”

“Yeah, no point at all.”




About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Fashion, Health, New York City, women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to What’s The Big Hurry?

  1. Damn! This is certainly something to ponder.


  2. It’s thought provoking and an opportunity to share a memory. (I did smile at big and little thin, is that ok?) So glad you didn’t hurt yourself. Small boned women like us have to take care of our hips because I don’t want to spend any time in those rehab joints unless it’s for something good.


  3. Beautiful. Sometimes we write as our heart tells us to. I think this is one of those times. It is amazing to me that certain things trigger memories and feelings. I am glad you are okay after a fall. I can’t believe as children we would fall, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and continue on like nothing happened, and now, we fall and feel it for a while.
    This was a heartfelt, bittersweet post, one of your best, I think. May the hole in your heart be filled with the fun memories today. Take it easy walking. I once tripped over my pantleg, fell into the street and broke my elbow… It was years ago, and my now son in law was riding his purple bike with the banana seat and came riding up and said to me, “Geesh, DAF, that looked like it hurt” . Hope you feel better today.


  4. Lynn says:

    Writing is what you do Susannah. Sometimes that means writing about things that lay heavy in our hearts, that is just life. I am sorry you lost your friend to such a tragic end. I don’t think any of us truly know what choices we would make in that instance unless we are in them

    I am the biggest klutz on the planet btw, I have often said that if there is a pin in the carpet, I will trip on it! Most days I am just in too much of a hurray, thinking about too many things at once.


  5. MJ says:

    Susannah, I appreciate this post, and God bless you for it. Please don’t apologize for writing about a day that doesn’t go well, or for painful memories. A writer worthy of the name—and you are—is only obligated to write well, not to be entertaining, unless that is specifically what he/she is being paid to do. The fact that you do chronicle the downside makes the the whole of your work that much more real and resonant. I’m sure these critics mean well, but what their saying seems to be a reflection of THEIR needs, mindsets, tastes, et al. Your blog is about you, not them.
    PS – As a 5’5″,107-pounder with a wrist circumference that’s less than 5″ and whose slowest speed is a lope, this post is an important reminder not to take a header. How’s that for gettng one’s needs met?


    • Oh MJ…thanks for this…like I just told Ed Crescimanni, I fold under criticism like a deck a’ cards. I was only intending on writing about my clumsiness then Nan showed up…that corner is anathema to me…you’re sweet as can be 🙂


  6. Elle Knowles says:

    I read this earlier this morning and life happened today so I’m just getting around to commenting. Sad but true. Shows your compassion. You can’t block every sad thing from your mind and this was tastefully written. Hope you weren’t hurt from the fall. You know when you’re down you can’t even remember getting there! Been there done that and so embarrassing. Good thing is you probably won’t ever see those people again! ~Elle


  7. pmahaney says:

    So sorry your friend Nan felt such hopelessness.


  8. That’s a great illustration, Susannah, of how easy it is to judge others based on appearances, since that woman had no idea who you might want to make the light. What a great essay this is.

    By the way, I’m glad you weren’t hurt in your fall. Your mention of lost time reminds me of when I was in high school and delivering papers. I went into a bar that had a subscription and when I came out, I slipped and fell down five steps. I don’t remember it at all, just woke up on the ground all scraped up. My friends all laughed at the idea of me falling down coming out of a bar. 🙂


  9. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I’m so sorry this happened to your friend. And I can understand why you wouldn’t want to linger on that corner, but you can’t hurry away from what happened. If only she’d been happy when you last saw her. So, so, sad.


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