There must be a mathematical equation or algorithm or logarithm or biorhythm or graham cracker that can calculate the ratio of how many days a person can stand being out and about in New York City to how many she must spend indoors hiding from everyone and everything in order to recuperate from the bombardment.
People who don’t live here say to me, “You know, Becky, if I lived in New York, I’d be out every day doing stuff. I’d go to galleries, shows, Central Park, Central Perk, Macy*s, Bloomingdale’s, The Cloisters, and the top of the Empire State Building! I’d ride the Staten Island Ferry, visit Ellis Island, Coney Island, and eat hot dogs at every Gray’s Papaya I could find! Oh, and see Blue Man Group at least once a month!”
And I always respond by telling them that if they lived here, they’d know better. They’d know that there are some days when you just have to hide. Especially after being out and about and among and between and amidst so many people for so long. And some days “so long” can only be an hour.
I’ve been out and about quite a lot lately. But today I reached my limit, so tomorrow I will be in hiding (except for the mandatory two-hour gym stint an experience that on a “good” day produces enough bile to hold me over for days). Many episodes this week, and today in particular, conspired to incite in me the burningest of desires to slap quite a few people across the face. I shan’t give details, but suffice it to say that I will never be returning to Garden of Eden, a “gourmet” grocer on 23rd Street that employs sullen corpses as cashiers, or a clothing store that up until this afternoon had been one of my favorites. (I won’t name it here. Just think “Plantain Democracy”.)
It’s all been just so very nerve-wracking that I was forced today to turn to this for comfort:
Lunch provided by Azure,
Corner of 51st and Third
That’s right. Tofu, couscous, chickpeas, kidney beans, and vegetables. I stomped on this stuff with my bare feet, a la the beloved side-splitting classic episode of I Love Lucy, and made myself a pretty little bottle of wine!
(Oh, and by the way, I think the ratio is 3:1. And that’s being generous.)