Thursday, September 25, 2008

Floogin Yamaguchi

When it comes to walking thru a crowd without bumping into people I am an artist. I am an artfull dodger. I don't like being touched by strange people. Ok, that sounds a bit weird. I don't like being brushed or bumped by randoms. I can walk rapidly thru a crowd of people all coming it at me and never get brushed, without ever missing a step or slowing down. I honed this skill attending concerts in tiny music places and futher mastered this craft in the city. I have always lived and worked in places that result in my going against the traffic and I can speed walk straight through, bobbing and weaving like a prize fighter. It must be something to behold but, from my perspective, it's like driving on the wrong side of the highway during rush hour and it has become somewhat like a game for me. How fast can I go, how close can I get without actually body slamming some poor schmuck to the pavement? All good stuff.

Anyway, this morning I drop my daughter off at school and start the cross town trek to my office. There's a rather busy intersection a couple of blocks from her school and there is a subway entrance on two corners there. I've got my ear plugs in, I'm moving to music, gliding thru the crowds, bobbing, weaving, dancing thru the throngs of people and, thanks to a median in the intersection, I cross thru the intersection to the far corner. As I approach the corner, which is where a very good steak house resides, something happens. Here in the city, restaurants leave their trash out at night and a truck comes to take it all away. With restaurants, there's often a sloppy, nasty mush of food in these bags. With popular restaurants that attract a younger, more male crowd, you sometimes also find street treats such as vomit along the side of the buildings.

So, I'm smooth moving across the intersection, slip between the big bald dude and his mismatched hot lady friend, sideways I'm gliding. My right foot steps down, I lift the left foot to get up on the curb and...what the fuck....I'm sliding. Literally, sliding on the street. Time seems to stand still. I'm on the heel of my right foot and I'm moving forward. My arms start to flail and this sudden shift in my body causes me to turn. I'm spinning left, flailing about like a fucking loon. As I complete the second rotation of what appears to be a triple lutz, I realize I am not stopping. I actually look down and see that my right foot is moving thru the biggest longest puddle of grey, chunky ooze I have ever seen. Is it vomit? Is it restaurant goop? Don't know. What I do know is that I am cruising at a rather rapid pace towards the sidewalk. I'm now sliding on the right heel, my arms outstretched like some kind of human airplane.

I know I can pull off the dismount, land my left foot on the curb, tuck my head down low and move out of there before anyone sees me or, far worse, before people start to applaud.

I lift my left foot a bit, like I'm coming to the end of the escalator, prepping for the step off.

Dammit. High curb. I misjudge the height of the curb, catch my left foot on the edge and now I'm stumble running forward. Towards a fucking wall.

I turn to the left quickly to avoid the wall and as I do that a fucking car pulls out of the driveway to the left of the restaurant and hits me.

Ok, that didn't happen but it would've been fucking hysterical, right?

So, I turn left and try and propel myself away from the wall. It works. Sadly, my left ankle didn't enjoy being the point of energy exchange. Pop goes the ankle.

I manage to slow myself down and walk away from this scene of almost epic humiliation. Almost because I didn't do a face slide in that horror film mix of food and drink and god knows what else.

I make it to the next corner. My ankle is throbbing and my bob and weave has turned into a limp and drag. I look down and see that my right shoe is covered in the chunky slip 'n' slide goo.

As I enter my building I contemplate trying to clean off this mess and I start to dry heave at the thought of it. I go into the bathroom, wad up a whole roll of paper towels but I can't do it. I come way too close to pouring a similar mess on the other shoe. Instead, I take the shoes off and leave them in the hallway. I figure nobody in their right mind would touch em.

fortunately, they were still there when I finally got a break and went to buy new shoes.

I walked into the store, headed to the elevator, the smell of my right shoe making me queasy. I walk over to the shoe department, pick out a pair, try em on and casually leave my old ones under the seat.

As I'm leaving, the salesman is running after me, telling me I left my old shoes. He clearly hasn't looked at what he's holding.

I tell him to toss them .

He says they seem to be in good condition.

I tell him to look at the other shoe

He drops them both in a flash

I jump into the elevator and flee before he can react to whatever it is that's all over his hand.

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