Thank you for your good thoughts, my friend’s dog was found safe & sound. I have been siiiiiiiiick for the past few days, I’m sure connected to being up all night and wandering around Red Hook with wet socks shouting “Molly!” but it was all worth it ‘cuz that puggle is home. Excuse me while I pass out again.
I went for a slow jog today in Prospect Park around 2pm. It was a beautiful day, and I found myself nodding to the other joggers and walkers, feeling part of this community that takes advantage of this beautiful park even as the weather is on the cold side.
Not a ton of people out, but there was a group of teenagers I passed on the path having a lackadaisical snowball fight. They were careful to avoid me, which I appreciated. And then, at the top of the South Hill, I passed two young teenage boys. They had backpacks on, one had a hoody. I nodded/smiled at them, and they split down the middle so that I had to run between them. Just as I passed, I saw the one on the left move towards me, and then he smacked me on my ass.
I turned around, infuriated. I yelled “Don’t be a dick!” and “Don’t touch people who don’t want to be touched!” They kept walking, nonchalant, but the kid said, “I want to talk to you!” ” He motioned to his jeans, saying again he wanted to talk to me and I yelled “Fuck off!” and kept going. I was pissed off, and my serenity from my slow three mile shuffle was gone. And there was nothing I could do.
I kept going, and a few minutes later a Parks & Rec truck went by, and I flagged it down. They shook their heads at kids these days, those little shits, and the woman in the truck knew exactly the two teens I was talking about. They had just passed them, and there was something with how they looked — guilty? laughing? But unless I wanted to call the police, there was nothing they could do. I just kept saying, I want them to know you can’t do that — you can’t just touch people like that. Then a cop car came by, and we flagged it down, and then I’m riding around in the back seat and not two minutes later, we come across those kids.
The one who touched me, he immediately starts protesting that he did nothing, what is this about, what is this all about, I didn’t do anything to that lady, and the officer was like, I didn’t say anything about a lady, you dipshit.
And I don’t want to press charges, but I do want this kid to apologize, and to know there are consequences, this 15 year old dick who won’t shut up saying he didn’t do anything, he didn’t do ANYTHING and it will be that lady’s word against his (and this whole time I’m in the back of the car, and he has no idea) and he’s got a girlfriend to get that stuff off (and his touch didn’t feel sexual, just profoundly disrespectful), this little asshole even has the audacity at some point to blame his friend - who has been silent this whole time, and I know that kid didn’t do anything, and I’ve told this to the cops - and all those police officers come by and they’re great. They keep checking in with me in the backseat, and they tell me they’re taking in the kid who touched me to the station and writing up a juvenile report and if he stays good, then it will all be expunged, and this way his folks have to pick him up from the station and they’ll know that he’s smacking the ass of 30some year old woman in the park.
The cops couldn’t have been nicer, the kid was caught, what he did wasn’t that big a deal (but big enough to get him in trouble, right? You just can’t think you can touch whatever woman you want to, right?) and in the end they made him apologize to me (and it was one those shitty, sorry for the misunderstanding, for the what you think happened apologies, but whatever) and then I came home. So why do I feel so sad and weird?
(I hope the other kid gets new friends.)
It’s one thing when your best friend, the one you live with for years after college, the one who you introduce to everyone by saying “this is my best friend _______” or when you tell stories about her you say “my best friend _______” as if her first name is four words long, who you think of as your sister but better because you chose each other… it’s one thing when she starts hanging out with your ex-boyfriend and you can’t breathe because the three of you all work together and you and she are still living together and sure enough she dates him and it’s a mess and you both move out and move on.
It’s another thing when a few years later she writes a memoir about her life and sends you an email that several chapters deal with your friendship and she changed your name and though she’s never said it in person, or even on the phone, now in this email she says “sorry” and also she’s turning in the manuscript to the publisher in a week.
It’s another thing when the book comes out and gets great reviews and mentioned in Oprah’s magazine and one of the Oprah book club questions is about you (and you even hate the pseudonym she chose for you).
It’s another thing when she organizes reunions and shows so she can sell her books in the lobby afterwards, this memoir which you know she got a six figure advance for.
But it’s this one last thing that sticks in your craw, festering like last night’s rotten popcorn kernels jammed in your back teeth: you have written her two emails, asking her to donate to this, and she doesn’t reply and she doesn’t donate and you just want to tell her to fuck off, a million times over, to please fuck off forever and ever amen.
Living in New York
For the first time in my life
It feels like I'm home.
If you'd like
you can email me