the commitments i have made for myself this year are quite lofty. at least compared to my current state of affairs. they include, but are not limited to;
1. get a purposeful job. 2. complete my digital design & photography program at nyu. 3. get published in at least 1 major media outlet 4. obtain & maintain perfect health 5. excel in my practice of yoga 6. finish my book and, 7. get married to a perfect man. each day i commit to do one thing, no matter how small, in the direction of achieving these seven dreams.
begin today. here’s the plan:
get up at 5:30, walk ivan, be back outside shooting pictures of the city at dawn on the morning after new year’s celebrations throughout town. return home around 9:00 for some yoga & meditation, shower, review photos, write and then meet susan & josh for brunch at 1:30. after brunch, return home and get my new photo blog (myzennyc) up & running. check out the job boards & think about re-joining match.com.
get up at 6:00, walk ivan. it’s pitch dark out. get 1/2 way down e. 52nd street when a mexican man enroute to his job at the pizzeria on 1st avenue stopped me. conversation:
man: happy new year
me: happy new year
man: can i ask you a question?
man: there’s a girl at the end of the block who needs help. she is very drunk and doesn’t know where she lives. i tried to help her, but i’m drunk too. plus i’m on my way to my job at the pizzeria around the corner and i can’t be late – can you help her?
me: ok, i will check on her & please don’t come any closer because my dog could bite you.
when the man left, ivan & i continued to the end of the block where we did indeed see a woman weaving more than i’ve seen someone weave since college. she was tall blonde & beautiful, dressed in a black dress & strappy sandals, pretending to be reading something on her cell phone in the pitch dark. she was crying so much her face was completely wet with tears. i asked if i could help.
very drunkenly (yes, i made that word up) she said her name was sandy & explained that she lived in brooklyn. the only key to her home was in a man’s apartment on east 53rd street and he was not answering her calls. she told me that she had no place to go and was really tired. she left out the part about being extremely intoxicated.
although i had no idea at that moment how i could help this woman, i couldn’t leave her alone out on the sidewalk in the dark, in her condition, while other people as drunk as she were wandering the streets looking for their next party. i had visions of her picture on the front page of tomorrow’s ny post under the headline “turtle bay horror! new year’s day murderer flees, dumps body in east river“. oy. i needed time to think. i told sandy to walk to the end of the block and wait for me there. i would walk ivan around the block and arrive back at my building in approximately the same amount of time it would take her to stumble down to corner of 1st avenue. as it turned out she beat me there and was waiting for me in the lobby of my building. the brainstorm i had on my walk, was to call her ‘friend’ from the lobby phone with hopes he would answer the call if he saw it was not coming from her number. i was able to get the name & number of the man who had her keys from her cell phone. she told me the guy’s name was david. i called david and discovered a glitch in my plan – i was wrong – he did not answer. what to do now? she had taken a seat on the couch in the lobby and was mumbling incoherently to herself. i noticed she had not called david by name and didn’t refer to him as her boyfriend either. i was not exactly certain of the relationship here but i knew i needed to get her keys back from this guy, whoever he is, because my neighbors would be waking up soon and i needed her out of the lobby before anyone saw her.
the doorman on duty was new. his name is daniel. not only was it daniel’s first day on the job, but he began his shift at 7:00am the morning before. he has no doorman experience, did not have a clue how to handle the situation and was so tired he could barely keep his eyes open. he appeared to be a bit unnerved by the strange mumbling woman who had taken up residence on the lobby couch. we both just watched her for a while and discussed our options. according to my plan for today, i should have been outside with my camera right now and i could very well have been missing the shot that could launch my career. afer about 15 mnutes or so, i told daniel to watch sandy while i ran over to the building where david resided to see if david’s doorman could run up to david’s apartment and get sandy’s keys for me.
310 east 53rd street is a very posh building. when i arrived, the outside doorman referred me to the inside doorman – who referred me to the building concierge. i explained the situation to the concierge. the concierge informed me that he was familiar with sandy. apparently she had been trying to get into david’s apartment since 3:00 am – and that “there have been other incidents with her in the past.” after a bit of subtle begging, he did buzz david’s apartment for me and david did not answer. i may have pushed the envelope when i asked him to knock on david’s door but the image of sandy meeting my building neighbors forced the question out of my mouth. the concierge refused.
i tried to think of a plan b but nothing came to mind. when i arrived back at my building it was just about 7:00 am and in the lobby was joe, a building resident whom i know. (joe refers to me as ‘cat woman’ due to what he perceives as my stealth ability to prowl around the scene to get the story for my unpaid job as building reporter for the east 52nd street website.) “well, cat woman, who’s your friend?”
i semi-smiled and looked over towards sandy on the couch. she was out like a light.
it wasn’t long before francesca emerged from the elevator with her two dogs max & dottie. i was explaining the story to francasca & joe when daniel’s brother and cousin walked in the front door to pick him up and take him home after his 24 hour shift. joe, francesca, daniel, his relatives and i stood in the middle of the lobby talking about options for sandy’s removal as she slept on the couch and drooled on her sleeve.
by 7:20 or so, daniel and his relatives cared about nothing other going home. whoever was supposed to relieve daniel after his 24 hour shift had not arrived and he was understandably agitated. francesca left to walk max and dottie and joe went out for some coffee. daniel looked to me for advice on what he should do about leaving without a relief doorman and an intoxicated stranger passed out on the couch. the temporary replacement super we have running the asylum was not answering his phone. i had no ideas to offer daniel and decided to take a stroll over to the 17th precinct to see if maybe the cops could get by the concierge in david’s deluxe pad, knock on the door and get the keys so sandy could go home and i could get on with my plans for the day. when the cops told me they couldn’t do that, i walked slowly back to east 52nd street trying to think of a plan c. as i got closer to home i wondered how many tenants i would have to answer to this time. but – as my 2012 & beyond – good luck would have it, besides sandy who was pretty much unconscious, the lobby was empty. daniel & his relatives had gone home leaving the lobby unmanned. stepping quickly and lightly like cat woman, i passed by sleeping beauty, pounced into the elevator and disappeared.
“There are no mistakes, save one: the failure to learn from a mistake.”