I didn't recognize the woman glaring back at me as I glanced at my reflection in a antique shop window. It was hot, 90's plus and deathly humid. My frustration outweighed any desire to do much out but continuing my now 3 hour commute home and this particularly lovely Sunday. How did I get to this point in my day anyway?
The day had started innocently enough at approximately 5:15 AM when I rolled out of bed and stumbled through my oven like apartment to get ready for work, I could believe incredibly hot it was at such an early hour, it never really cooled down that night. Even as I waited for the "F" train in my usual standing spot, I was stunned by how humid and damp 5:45 AM could really be. I fumbled with my iPod to listen to The Killers version of "Romeo and Juliet." I think I like their version better than the Dire Striats one. I thought of Candice and Keith and their love for The Killers, taking a deep breath, desperately wishing that I too could be taking a trip home and visiting the family. It saddens me everything to think how those kids are going and I don't get to see them like I use to. I shrugged off the thought as I knew that it would do me no good and breezed into the welcoming car of an air conditioned train...
Work was humid. Just like everything else in this city. So humid in fact, it felt like my soul was trying to leave my body behind for something dry and cool; as far as I can tell, my soul hasn't completely left me yet. The day went like any other Sunday Brunch at La Bottega; couples, friends and family members sipping martini's and mimosas in the shade of the umbrellas while I darted inside to stand under an air vent and guzzle water at any chance that I could possibly get. There is something obnoxious about brunch people, or maybe it is just jealously; wishing that I could be enjoying the company of friends and family, whom of which I missed desperately. But I ignored the thought as soon dreams of air conditioners filled my mind. I decided that after work, I would go to Target and buy a nice air conditioner so I could sleep tonight. That is the thought that got me through the 10 hour, humid, and steady stream of brunch eaters.
I left work at roughly 4:30 PM and sunk underground to a tomb of humidity and strange New York smells. waiting for the train is the worst, luckily I had my most recent read and the pleasant thought of how good the train car would feel. The train car did feel wonderful. I transfered to the "5" train at Union Square which would take me right to Atlantic Avenue... at least on any other given time.
At the last stop in Manhattan, the train conductor announced that no "4" or "5" trains where going into Brooklyn because of a power issue at Atlantic Avenue; just where I wanted to go. So I took the "A" with the intention of transferring to the "F" and then back to the "R" to get to my next destination of Target/air conditioner heaven. Wrong again. The Borough Hall stop did not have any "F" trains. Apparently there was more of a problem then originally thought; some sort of train fire. Police officers were giving directions to tourists trying to get to Coney Island and confused travelers just trying to get out of the damp subway. I made my way to the street, knowing that I had several miles walk ahead of me just to get to Atlantic Avenue. Well this is when i realized that it was after six, it had taken me about 2 hours to make a normal 30 min trip and I was still miles away from where I wanted to be. I took a deep breath and continued my journey, filling my mind with how wonderful the cold air would feel tonight as I feel asleep. That is when my unfamiliar glare caught my eye, almost livid that I willing put myself through such torture... as if at this juncture it were avoidable.
I finally arrived at Target. Hot, incredibly sweating, thirsty and tired. I made my way to the 2nd floor where I would find my heaven. As I rounded the corner, I was struck with panic. To my horror, the air conditioning shelf was completely empty. Nothing. I felt like this had to be a nightmare after all the pain it took me to get there. I closed my eyes and shook my head quickly and opened my eyes to see that the shelves were still empty. I wanted to throw myself to the ground and just give up there and then. Scream at every passing stranger and demand their air conditioning unit. How could this be happening???
Disgruntled, I made my way to the "R" platform and paced almost violently on the platforms' edge, trying desperately to cool off. Both literally and metaphorically. My frustration was to the extreme. I'm not a violent person but I was convinced that if someone got within a 10 foot radius of me, their fate would be much worse than that of my muggy sleepless night I was sure to encounter. All I had to look forward to that night was a hot, humid apt and and shedding cat. The train came, and the cool car welcomed me with open arms.
As I made my way of the subway to the open Brooklyn streets, I thought of how much worse it could be. I could be without a fan. Which is what saved me when I got home. I collapsed on the floor in front of the fan and was soon greeted by a black and white cat named Gizmo who slept with me on my hard wood floors until my discomfort awoke me. Sweating and startled by thunder, I awoke to find several hours had past. The worst is over. Tomorrow I'll try again. But I'm not going to Target.