Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Don't Look too Closely

Halloween in New York City is a strange day - there is a festive tension that is poised to snap into something truly gruesome. In short, it's like an extreme version of a regular day in the city. For example, as you make your way around town, you might notice a few people dressed up in costumes, so then you go out of your way to look for people in costume. This quickly becomes a bad idea.

There's someone on the subway platform! Oh, it's just the woman who is always wearing beautiful traditional West African robes. That woman is wearing scary make-up! No, it's a bruise - like someone hit her in the face. That guy is a vampire. No, those aren't fake puncture wounds, those are bullet holes tattooed on his neck (and a devil tattooed on his left hand and a panther tattooed on his right hand). There's a man dressed like a woman - oh, a man in drag, no, wait, it's an old lady wearing a wig askew and she's spitting out sunflower seed shells on the seat next to me. These are all real people I saw today.

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment on the Upper West Side in the middle of the day. To try to get to my appointment on time, I hopped in a cab. The traffic was terrible, of course, especially trying to cross town. I didn't tell the driver to drive balls to the wall, and I didn't notice him being particularly aggressive, but at one point a driver of a big bakery truck started yelling at my cabbie: just the typical stuff, asking the motherfucker what his problem was. Then, we all stopped at a light and the driver of the bakery truck got down from his cab and approached my cab. I looked up when I heard the sound of him yelling getting closer and I saw that he brought a golf club along with him. I expected him to start bashing the taxi in with the iron. I tried to look impassive and uninvolved, my cab driver didn't do anything except yell a meek taunt after the other guy had already shown us his back and was retreating.

Trick or Treat?

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