The humidity level is somewhere past 100 and it’s 97 degrees and my computer is melting. The child is in his crib, doing what he does best: napping and sweating. There’s air conditioning on in there, so I don’t know why he wakes up sopping wet. Then again, this morning he told me he had just been “flying a little” and “there was some basketball downstairs.” Sounds like a workout, son! You should dream about sending email, like I do!
A while back, I promised two exciting tales: my tale of subway drama, and my appearance on Bravo. See, I didn’t forget. Only I began to think that neither of these anecdotes is all that interesting after all. But whatever, I have nothing else to give.
The subway incident went something like this: Henry and I were with our friends, J. and F., who hail from the town of P___ S___. We had just been to the New York Aquarium, which is all the way down in Coney Island. The outing had been my idea, and like so many of my ideas, it had been a terrible one. There were many subway stairs to negotiate. The toddlers were cranky, as toddlers so often are. The aquarium was both expensive and crowded. Henry had no interest in anything but the sharks. The sharks, and then we were done. DONE, do you hear me? DONE. No, he did NOT care about the starfish or the seahorses (they’re horses of the sea, kid! Give them a chance) nor would he give a second glance to the walruses, even though they were much more impressive than the sharks, if you ask me. But he wasn't asking me. No, no NO. So I shelled out $18 for fifteen minutes of holding a screaming 40-pound child while I searched for the shark exhibit and then two minutes of holding a silent 40-pound child while we looked at sharks. Then we went down to the beach, and hey! What a worse idea to have than the aquarium! At the beach, the children can coat their sunscreen-marinated bodies in sand, and be like hot little breaded fillets. Fillets that want to be held! And don’t want to go anywhere near the water even though it’s hotter than hell!
And then we poured some melted ice creams down our shirts and hauled them up the assload of stairs to the subway and there we were on the subway, finally. We were sweaty and disheveled and two out of the four of us needed diaper changes. It was our stop. I was holding Henry and I ran ahead to the door because I’m paranoid about the door closing before we can escape.
And then it closed. On my foot.
My foot was inside the train. I was outside, on the platform. Henry was in my arms. J. and F. were inside the train, looking out at us. My stroller was inside the train. Next to my foot.
And the door, it would not open.
For those of you who do not hail from these parts, the NYC subway doors are merciless. They will close right on you. They are not the friendly elevator doors that occasionally decapitate people but usually are quite nice about letting people through. Not these doors. Once they begin closing, nothing can stop them. You may think they will open. But they will not. No! Usually, if you get a limb stuck, you can wiggle yourself free, but in this case, I couldn’t.
And we were in the last car, which meant that the conductor, wherever he or she was, could not in a million years see me. Me and my trapped foot. My trapped and doomed foot.
So I screamed for a while, but nothing happened, as my scream is thin and girlish. Actually I think I was calling out, “Um, hello? Hello? Trapped foot, over here! Helloooo?” which is not going to get anyone’s attention, especially not here, where the subway conductors will rip your foot off as they head out to their next destination and not think twice about it. Subway conductors would sooner leap out through their window and gnaw at your ankle with their extra-long incisors until your foot is severed from the rest of you than open the doors for you. This is true.
Fortunately, a man sporting a thick, lush handlebar moustache was standing on the platform. He heard my weak cries and, with a booming baritone, demanded that the doors be opened. And lo, they were. And my foot was freed! Hurrah!
Henry was exceedingly concerned about my foot, but this didn’t stop him from demanding that I hold him all the way home. No stroller was good enough for him, as I had been in danger, and this was no time to be separated from me. Never mind about the limping! You hold me, damn it! You see how I love you!
The End. You see? There have been better stories. Like the one about when I was on Bravo! Which I will get to eventually.