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.”