Now, I can’t always be all spit and vinegar and gasoline. And today, despite the gorgeous weather outside, I’m a little low.
I got a massage last night. Apparently, my back is so fucked up from years of neglect and sporting activities and not stretching—I hate to stretch, it’s boring, so I don’t do it, which is bad, I know—and now I have to deal with it.
So I went to a recommended place to have some 110-pound Korean woman bust me up. And man did she kick the shit out of me. I mean elbows digging in, bending my arms back over my head, etc. But I needed it, and it felt good at the end when she was done pummeling me. So, after a nice long night of sleep, I woke up sore but also feeling all right—you know, on the mend.
Then I got on the subway.
I hate the subway. Seriously. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t miss driving or dealing with a car, but getting inside that moving toilet for an hour a day is a soul-sucking experience. You have to put up with a lot of shit—sometimes literally—in this town. I’ve accidentally stepped in someone’s vomit, watched assholes pick their noses and then grab a pole—I even saw two people fucking on a stopped V Train at the Second Ave. stop one night, which by the way, is the stop I detest most in the city. Always, always with the urine smell! I’ve watched a schizo throw around his bucket of tools and threaten to beat up everyone on the train; I’ve seen a kid throw another kid’s head into a seat, blood go everywhere.
I have an acquaintance who once saw an obese woman chowing down on rotting mussels on the train during the a.m. rush—“I’ve been waiting to eat these mussels all week!” she screamed as she sucked them out of their shells, mussel juice running all over. Another person saw a homeless person taking a full-fledged dump on the train platform. Actually, I know a few people who’ve seen this.
It’s a toxic place. My friend who visited last winter said, “Fuck public transportation. If I had to take that thing every day I’d go fucking crazy.”
This morning some Mom started screaming at a lady for not covering her nose when she sneezed. “You gonna get my kid sick! My kid is 8, and even she knows to cover her face when she sneezes!” Despite the freakout factor—and the yelling—I must say I take Mom’s side on this. Disgusting people of the world, cover your damn noses and mouths when sneezing or coughing. But it was this incident that escalated into some shouting bullshit—easily not the worst I’ve see by any margin—and I could literally feel the benefit of last night’s massage draining away.
I was never one for all this “energy” talk—what you suck in and put out—until the last year or so. In fact, if I’m not listening to music, I’m a big fan of peace and quiet. And while living in NYC can be many things—Energetic! Entertaining!—it certainly can’t be called one thing—nice. Living here is not nice.
The question is, you either learn to deal—or you don’t. And all the yoga/meditation/massages in the world seem to provide some temporary relief but not much more. I got a massage a couple years ago, and the lady said she got “images or messages” about people she was touching from time to time. So, when we were done, she asked me, “Do you smoke? Cause I saw you smoking a lot when I grabbed your foot.” At the time, I was like, “Um, yeah.” And then, also, “Did you ever play Robin Hood or a forest-type creature in a play as a kid?” Um, no. “Uh, that’s strange,” she said. “Because I see you in the woods.”
So the question is: How much is You vs. Your Environment? I guess I’ve been weighing these two for a while and am interested in hearing how other people cope.