Sunday, February 22, 2009

New York--the Best and the Worst

People either love or hate New York-- there's not a lot of neutrality. I teach a class on contemporary art in New York, so have an excuse to enjoy the best and the worst on a regular basis. I was going to make a best/worst list, but I'm torn about where to categorize certain things. For example, this past Saturday I saw rats scurrying  on the subway tracks. Now you might have an 'ugghh' reaction, but I thought it was kind of cool. I mean how often do you get to see rats, up close without having to interact with them? They weren't in my house, thankfully and they seemed to be happy eating up bits of garbage strewn throughout the stations, thus serving a civic duty. 

Within a span of a couple of hours, I saw a delusional man sob profusely and a guy puke into the subway grate. Again you might wonder how this could make the 'best' list. 

While waiting for my students at the Bolt Bus stop, I witnessed a man (who was clearly hallucinating) transform from an agitated, aggressive state to one of complete remorse. Within minutes, he began to sob with profound anguish. Oblivious to the spectators, his crocodile tears conveyed a raw, unaffected emotion. We are so used to donning our masks, holding our emotions at bay or burying them with our efficient and busy schedules, that we don't take time to release our pain or sadness. 

Puking in the subway grate--what can I say about that? It happened to be in Times Square on Broadway in the midst of a crowd. His friend was patiently, but unapologetically  standing next him, waiting for the heaves to subside. I had to laugh--it was right outside a 'gentleman's club'. Was he puking because of the bad booze or the bad entertainment? 

1 comment:

  1. I also enjoyed the rats on the track. I look for them. It is good I know where they are. Down there-not in my attic. Puke is fine as long as you do not have to clean it up. I believe our meltdowns release pain and sadness. So they are a good thing?