Thursday, February 28


A Disorienting Addendum

Just after writing that last little note, I stepped out into the hall on my way to get a sandwich on the last twenty minutes of my lunch break, where I was accosted by a deliveryman who exclaimed in wonder, in an extraordinary Brooklyn accent, that down in Florida, someone's winning Lotto ticket had just gotten stolen. I made appropriate noises and started to move away, hovering in the stairway door in the hopes he would get the message and quickly wrap this up. After several increasingly repetitive elaborations on the same subject, he added, "You think things are awful up here in New York, but they're just as bad down there!" Wondering if maybe there was a large sign pinned to my back labeled "Sixth-Generation Floridian,"* I felt tempted, in a surge of local patriotism to respond, "The fellow who stole it probably was from New York!" I then started wondering what it would take for this man to leave me alone, and abruptly ducked into the stairwell with perfunctory noises of regret. Then I went do the grocery store a few blocks over and told the butcher to fix up my usual, but with mayonnaise, and I got what I wanted. It was then I realized I was turning into a New Yorker, which was more than a little shocking.

For my pennance, I held a door for a girl on my way back in.

But I suppose being a New Yorker needn't mean leaving the old country behind, as New York's quintessential citizen, the incomprehensible taxi driver, so aptly proves.

*On my father's side; but being Cuban on my mom's side is equally about as Floridian as it gets.

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