When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Last weekend and this week has been a blur of audio drama production, which got completed at 12:30 last night. So naturally I felt like a vacation. On this day in particular, I woke up with a clear schedule for the day and decided to save the little bit of gas in my tank and the toll $$ in my car ashtray and stay home.

Home. :-)

I put out press releases for the audio, took my shower in my empty apartment (roommate situation is a gift straight from God), put on my jogging togs, palmed my workphone, my monthly transit card (unlimited public trans for a month at one price--canNOT be beat), my saved 6 bucks plus 2 unspent dollars from the preceding week, and headed out for Central Park.

Stepped out of the door and realized a split-second too late


that I left my keys in the apartment.

New York City apartment doors have been designed by the makers of Alcatraz, if you didn't know. There is the knob lock which locks automatically. Then a plate lock in the knob plate, and a deadlock above eye level. Well, without my keys, I couldn't lock the plate or deadbolt locks, but the knob lock was more than enough.

I paced around a little bit, fighting panic. I have already been eyed suspiciously by the super, so I looked for him. Could not find. My roommate's telephone # is in my personal phone. In the apartment.


So what plans did I need to hatch? Well, first of all, my roommate comes home at about 6ish. A have a phone, albeit not mine with my familiars in it, but a phone nonetheless. I have 8 dollars. I have unlimited transportation in NYC and my car is safely parked on the correct side of the street. And I am without agenda.

So! Onto the streets then for a day full of Ferris Buller hijinxs!!

On the A-train, I got insight into why white males are so free with their bare feet. A white mom planted her chubby baby opposite me. The kid was barelegged from his Pampers down and had on no shoes or socks. He was playing with his toes, which was quite an inspiring sight, seeing that babies are able to pull their legs up in straight parallel to their bodies, and pull their toes into their mouths. Oh, this play was just a' twiddling and a' stretching them little toes, pointing them at me like stubbly wands of magic. And mommy was adoring every inch of him, toes and all.

I couldn't help but smile.

So this kid will no doubt grow up in flip-flops, paddling his toes at people with a sense of acceptance and well-being, grossing people like me when he's twenty-five.

Makes me wish I had been raised by a white mom.

I was inspired, in fact, to the level that I changed my plans and decided to come down here to 23rd between Park and Madison, to the Time Warner Cable store to use the free internet and blog about What Has Gone On Before.

If I never blog again, I never made it back.

Dressed in jogging togs, I'm ever the slightest bit self-conscious, but I'm going to go with the idea that I look hot. My t-shirt is blazing yellow and all the production I've been doing over the last week, plus being into my second week without spending money (which, no I'm not borrowing any--tomorrow's payday and again, I've learned to have savings, so I cooked a bunch of food for the week and that's what has been sustaining me), I've lost four pounds, so yeah, I'm strutting my stuff.

A few observations while strutting;

two different woman, bald as eggs, as un-self-conscious as newborns, one black one white, making their ways across town.

people smoke too much.

I live here. I belong here.

I've learned how not to spend my money and obey every silly craving I have for $2.00 crap food 12x's a day.

I'm happy.

How about you?

Blog atcha later. I hope!


GrizzBabe said...

Okay, I need to take notes from you on how to NOT spend money!

Alan said...

It's very simple--run out of it after payday.

When it's gone, it's gone.

Knowing that I had food to eat in the fridge and toll and gas money in my savings account helped stem the tide of panic when my money ran out last week.

So whenever I felt that restless gnaw in the belly that said "Go to Starbucks! Get an Iced Latte!" I ate some of the food I already had prepared (spaghetti and meat sauce, ez-make hotdogs, mash up the avocado and dip it with the family size tortilla chips I bought, munch on the seedless white grapes which cannot be finished in one session, etc.) worked feverishly on the audio drama. Next thing I knew it was time for bed, and the day was gone.

Oh! And also! Grub snacks at work! Someone's always got some bobkins on their desk, or some breakroom somewhere has leftover bagels.

So I talk a big game now, but I just paid off my California vacation from Memorial Day, so I'm looking again at another two weeks of this kind of living. That's when I get a paycheck ... and pay my rent and car payment. Which takes me into another two weeks of this kind of living.

But then I realized, this is NORMAL. You buy food, you cook it, you eat it. You have leftovers, you eat leftovers the next day. You go to work, you come home. You engage in hobbies, you go to bed.

What you don't do is buy every piece of edible junk between here and there, and back again, letting the money pour out of your pockets like water out of a cupped hand.

Maturity! It's what's for dinner!


Danielle said...

"Makes me wish I had been raised by a white mom."

You Did NOT Say That!!!

Alan -- Your mother was a wonderful, beautiful, strong, BLACK woman and you need to thank God every day for what she did for you.

Alan said...

I was wondering when a woman of color would take exception here.

Danielle, dear, YOU were raised by that type of black woman. And your daughters were raised by that type of woman too.

Me, not so much. I was there and the picture is not pretty. I thank God that my mother kept me alive, so that in these curent days I can be getting help to work through the issues she stacked up on me.

But it's hard frikkin' work and yes, when I see these white girls lavish love and affection on their little Brittneys and Joshuas, turning them into American royalty (as obnoxious as these feel-like-life-owes-them-success people can be among us), yes I do sometimes wish I was one of them.

Yes I did say it.

But see above. I acknowledge some black women know how to treat their kids. And I acknowledge that some white women are neurotic wrecks, turning a lot of their children into Xanax zombies.

But for me? I think my temperment would have matched better with a mother who was tender and warm, and affectionate and loving. If there are black women out there that fits this description, then I want them raising my children.

But mine blew it.