i was headed to a dentist's appointment a few weeks ago to pick up my SECOND $500 nightguard (you are not you surprised to hear that i grind my teeth at night).
i get off at the 53rd + fifth avenue stop. i'm riding up a really loooooong escalator from the subway to the street exit, when some ambitious young lad takes the stairs.*
(i used to be The One who took the stairs, and i don't mean a few stairs, the it-will-actually-take-me-less-time-to-take-the-stairs-so-why-not stairs, but i mean the 150 steps stairs that NO ONE TAKES EVER unless the escalator is dead. i got a lot of who-the-hell and why-the-hell looks on a 90 degree days when i'd trudge up the stairs in my little black work shoes and my little black pencil skirt, eyes fixed, lips pursed, breath controlled. i loved the looks.
BECAUSE I'M BETTER THAN YOU, THAT'S WHY, my thoughts were screaming.
like many eating disorderlies, i fancied myself immortal, special, incapable of feeling pain or discomfort. needless, therefore... better than all you humans).
now, i ride the escalator. it feels GREAT to step aside and let those who want to walk up the escalator do so.
please! go right ahead.
anyway, this lad is leaping to the top of the stairwell, and we're all watching in a combination of awe and annoyance.
just as guy is getting to the top of the escalator, this homeless man - skin the color of milk chocolate, head surrounded by a corona of crazy gray hair and beard - steps onto the down escalator, takes one contemplative look at the guy dashing up the stairs, turns to the rest of us and shouts, like a king addressing his subjects:
REPEAT AFTER ME: EXERCISE? BAAAAD. MASSAGE? GOOOOOOOD. EXERCISE? BAD. MASSAGE? GOOOOOOD. NOW, GO GET ONE.
*in the NYC subway, if there's an escalator, there's usually a set of stairs right next to it. you see plenty of folks dashing down the stairs, but rarely up. some of those suckers are LONG.