2 hours ago
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
We're on the East Coast for our annual celebration of freedom, explosives, and lobster (not necessarily in that order).
To get here as quickly as possible, we have to fly overnight from Hawaii. And it is physically impossible for me to sleep on airplanes because I am absolutely terrified of flying. If I fall asleep, how am I going to clutch the armrests and will the airplane to stay aloft with the power of my mind? RIDDLE ME THIS.
We arrived into New York City's JFK airport at 5:44 am. As we approached the runway, I saw a light flashing outside. I assumed it was a light on the wing, visible in the pre-dawn shadows. But it wasn't flashing in any sort of predictable pattern, and at the very last moment, as the ground was rushing towards us, I saw a huge bolt of lightening across the wing.
The ground crew had retreated inside, and so there we sat, in a metal tube, on the runway, as lightening flashed around us and rain pelted the windows. It was totally not scary AT ALL.
When we finally got off the damn plane, we made our way to an apartment I had rented for the weekend. By 8am, the temperature had passed 80F, and the apartment didn't have air conditioning - it was probably 10 degrees hotter inside. I was not pleased. The kids were wide awake, and it was way too hot to nap, so we decided to clean ourselves up and go to the Museum of Modern Art, which may not have beds but at least has air conditioning. We got a little lost en route, getting on express trains, and local trains. and trains that had labels that were the same color and shape as the train we needed but a different letter, which I guess is the most important part - I can't explain it, exactly, except to say that we spent almost 2 hours trying to get to 53rd and 5th Avenue, which apparently is only accessible by the E train. Or something.
All was forgotten when we exited the subway and saw the beacon that lay before us, a shining light that made everything okay. The lack of sleep, the extreme heat and humidity, the 90 minutes riding the NY City subway back and forth like idiots. It was all going to be okay. It was all worth it. Because of this. Because it brought us here, to this magical place.
Of course I am talking about Dunkin Donuts.
Anyone reading this who was raised in New England is nodding sagely right now and saying to themselves "Ah, yes. That's good. Dunkies."
I stood on the ramp leading to 5th Avenue holding my first iced coffee of the summer between damp palms and closed my eyes for just a moment, enjoying the feel of a 32 ounce plastic cup of goodness. The weight, the cup sweat, the 1/4 inch of sugar on the bottom......it was perfection. And as we exited the subway I saw the MOMA flag off to my left. My parents were walking full steam ahead towards the entrance, and my father had no intention of waiting out in the heat for us to nurse our beverages and engage in whatever bizarre reverie I was enjoying. Which explains why I chugged a large iced coffee in about 3 minutes flat and immediately felt kind of sweaty and sick. We bought our tickets and headed to the second floor, but I could feel the waves of nausea rising. After a few moments I leaned in and said to Sam in a low voice "I'll be right back."
The women's room was almost empty and I leaned back against the stall door as I locked it behind me, hoping that I was not really about to get sick in a public toilet, which is just not something that my OCD can handle. I decided that if I *was* going to get sick, I had to be careful not to touch the toilet in ANY WAY and to stand as far away from it as possible. I couldn't risk a splashback, not even in a classy place like the MOMA. I waited a few moments with a hand over my mouth, trying to postpone the inevitable. As soon as the last voice faded and the door thudded shut, I leaned forward and let go. "Hoooooagh!"
Simultaneously, there was a noise from another stall. "Blaaaaaaaagh". I froze mid-heave, grabbed on to the toilet paper dispenser to steady myself, and waited a beat. Had I just imagined that?
Screw it. My stomach heaved and I leaned forward again. This time, I heard it, clear as day.
Someone was taking the dump of their life a few stalls down.
And there we were, engaged in the most fucked-up duet possible:
I finally straightened up, grabbed a wad of paper, wiped my mouth, and ran to the sink. I splashed water on my face, pulled a handful of towels out of the dispenser, and made a beeline for the exit just as I heard the lock on the other stall clicking open.
There was no way I was making eye contact. No way.
I slipped out the door and disappeared into the crowd, vowing never to return to that bathroom again.
And also, to savor my iced coffee next time. That was $2.78 I am never gonna get back.
Posted by Daffodil Campbell at 5:58 PM