Saturday, March 13, 2021

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Enter the 9th Circle Part 18


The taxi races through several red lights on its way across town. Holding tightly, my hand is wrapped to a strap attached to the top of the door and I become slightly airborne when the driver takes the corners. I’m not sure he knows that I was not in danger when I yelled at him to drive. 

 

“Good God, what a night!” I think to myself. How do I process any of it or make any sense out of what I just went through? It was a total freak show! A truly wonderful freak show, but still a crazy whacked-out nonstop freak show. I really have a lot to think about before I go back. Can I do it again? 

 

“Boy, was that place crazy,” I say to the driver. He looks at me in the rearview mirror and nods his head. I can tell that he doesn’t understand a word I am saying or could care less. Now don’t get me wrong. I loved every crazy minute of it and will be counting the moments until I get to go back. Well, that also has a lot to do with Bob.

The cab pulls up outside of my “new” apartment and screeches to a halt. I hand the money to the driver over the front seat and slide out. The place I am staying at this month is the only high rise located on Astor Place in The West Village. It is very clear to the doormen that I don’t have the income to stay in a building like this. My friend Susan who lives here is working out her inheritance and is currently in Los Angeles, so I am staying at her place, paying a low rent and taking care of her two cats, one of them being a 14-year-old Siamese. It was kind of a last minute thing.

I have another friend staying in my apartment. That apartment is the amazing carriage house located on 13th Street. Actually, technically it is now a sublet of a sublet, but my friend seems happy with the arrangement. As long as someone pays the rent, everyone in town looks the other way. I know that it sounds confusing, but in New York it appears as though everyone has a special deal worked out.

This building is the first high rise in The Village and it caused quite a scene when it was built. All I see coming and going in the building are rich socialites and their drivers, and older men in suits with young girls on their arms. Every time I walk into the lobby of this building on Astor Place, the doormen ask me who I am here to see. It gets really tiresome really fast, but they seem to enjoy it. Tonight there is a new twist to the routine; the lone doorman asks me for ID as well. I have repeatedly told him that I am living in Susan’s apartment while she deals with a death and is out of town. I know it’s a lie. I know that she is in L.A. drinking and having a party, because she calls me slurring twice a week, but I figure I shouldn’t share that part of the story with him.

I take the elevator up the twelve floors and step into the hallway. It’
s a quick three steps to the apartment. Fumbling in my bag, I pull out the keys, turn the lock in the door, and step inside. The apartment is dark, but slightly illuminated by the light in the boa constrictor’s tank. Her name is Jasmine and she is my baby. I look at her, she is three feet long and tonight has her head tucked into the folds of her body. She is fast asleep. I have had her since she was little and I’m surprised at how affectionate she actually is. I throw the keys onto the counter and they scatter to the floor. I am too tired to bend over and pick them up.

The apartment is a one bedroom with a loft. The view from the living room is breathtaking. The apartment has floor-to-ceiling windows and the ceiling is about 20 feet away. New York is beautiful, and tonight I can add dangerous and scary to that list.

I pull off my clothes and climb the ladder to the loft. Once up there, I have to crawl on my hands and knees to get to the bed. My head hits the pillow and I don’t wake up until the alarm sounds.

Being jerked awake, I sit up quick in bed; the ceiling is directly two inches above, so I am always careful not to smash my head. I am so groggy, I feel as if I never went to sleep. “What a crazy night,” I say out loud to myself. I replay it in my head.

I have a busy day ahead of me and I run through the mental list of what needs to be done. Today before I go to work at Uncle Charlie’s, my agent got me a go-see today at 1 p.m. Yes, I have an agent. I got him through a friend of a friend. Another New York deal. A Japanese company is looking for American models to star in their ad campaign. I have to call him to double check that it’s still on. I have a little bit of time before I have to be there, so I should make the call in the next hour. Next on the list, I plan on taking a couple of dance classes and I have a musical theatre audition. I feel a day of rejection coming my way. 

 

I crawl out of bed and across the floor on my hands and knees to get to the ladder. Once there, I have to turn around to go feet first down the ladder. The same windows that gave me such a beautiful view last night gives my neighbors and the people of NYC the view of my legs kicking while hanging over the side of the loft as I try to get my legs on the rungs. The people of NYC also get a good view of my underwear. It is a skill I am learning. You sort of have to kick your feet out in the air and grab the top of the ladder. It is taking me awhile to perfect this technique. 

I reach the ground floor safely and the cats are racing around to get fed. I have brought my two over here and now there are four of them needing my attention. The poor Siamese is sitting on the couch crying. I go over to her and pick her up. It’s then that I realize that she has pissed on the couch and has been lying in her own filth. “Why is everyone around me lying in their own piss lately?” I say out loud to no one. “
God damn it,” I scream in frustration. Now I have a huge chore to do before I can even get out of the house.

Jasmine the Boa Constrictor is awake and pushing her nose against the top of her tank. A thin screen held in place with clamps placed atop her aquarium stops her from wandering around the house. She has gotten out on several occasions; this makes the cats very nervous. I add a mental note to the list, “Got to go to Petland and buy a rat. It’s time to feed Jasmine.”

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