So I’m walking up 43rd Street after work to Kamran’s apartment the other day. I usually walk up 41st, but I’m feeling lazy, and the incline on 43rd is much smaller. There’s an old woman on the sidewalk twenty feet ahead of me, and I’m thinking about how sad it is that her body has really lost all signs that it was ever attractive. I realize that a simple underwire bra would make all the difference in the world in keeping her boobs from making a slope down to and then blending in with her protruding belly underneath her grey t-shirt, but I suppose you get to an age where even having your Victoria’s Secret shipped to your home in an unmarked box seems like too much to bother with.
I’m feeling a little sorry for her, because you know her husband ran off with some Russian hussy years ago, and she’s really let herself go with only the dog at home to judge her. But then, just as I’m two feet behind her, she turns on her wooden cane and begins walking up the sidewalk. I swear this happens to me all of the time. The slowest-moving people–the gimpy, the elderly, the crippled–they all suddenly decide they have somewhere to be as soon as I’m about to pass them. A man who’s been wheelchair-bound for fifty-three years will without warning gain feeling in his legs the moment he sees the whites of my eyes simply to block me from walking by him. It’s incredible.
So I’m slugging along behind ol’ Droopy Boobies, thinking that I don’t really have anywhere to be and won’t bother her to move aside for me, when she starts talking to this guy ahead of her on the sidewalk. He’s perched on one of the low fences that surrounds all of the trees in Kamran’s well-manicured neighborhood, tapping something on his cellphone. He’s fit and in his late 30s, dressed in a clean t-shirt and jeans, with nicely styled hair that’s tossing in the breeze. I figure they must know each other.
Until I hear that the old hag is saying to him, “These goddamned illegal aliens. They move here and steal our jobs and then sit around on their fat asses talking on their phones all day.”
I’m . . . surprised. This man is very much white, very not fat, and entirely American-looking. And it’s nearly 6:30 p.m., so I’m not exactly sure why she’s upset about him not working. Although I suppose that when your life revolves entirely around the administering of your daily suppository, you lose track of time.
Just as she steps beside him, she says, “Illegal aliens think they can sit on their fat asses and we won’t notice,” but he doesn’t even look up. I take that moment to pass by her and hold my BlackBerry–which I happen to have in my hand, because I’m obsessed with it–up in the air so she can see it and press a bunch of buttons to spite her.
I’m walking fast enough to be a few feet in front of her at this point, so she hollers, “Fatass!”