New York, New York

A. pulled up to the car rental entrance at the terminal. I dashed in and waited while the counter guy swiped my credit card and paged through his papers.

“Would you like a Chevy Trailblazer or a Ford Edge?” he asked.

Trailblazer… I thought. SUV. I requested a economy size. Ford Edge. That sounds kinda smaller. Edge. Edgy. “The Edge,” I said. He passed me a couple of fat keys. “Row X, 78.”

I ducked into the garage and hurried down row X. The cars seemed awfully…big. But no, there was an Alero parked here, a Sebring there….and there was space 78.

I ran back inside and waited for the counter guy to finish helping two girls squealing over their Trailblazer. “I reserved an economy size?”

“I’m all out,” he said.

We got in about midnight to find our friends playing the Roxanne game with Coors Light, Grolsch and one sadly wasted six-pack of Newcastle. Must be one of those NYC things, A. said, and we joined in.

The beer and my gut did not get along.

We went to Central Park anyway. The bathrooms had no toilet paper. But there was this…

…to admire.

We got to Washington Square Park and my gut finally wheezed defeat, so I ran for what looked like a bathroom. Inside a short, spindly cleaning woman stood between the stalls, holding the doors shut and rasping away at an occupied stall.

“It’s Mother’s Day. You think I want to be here? I can’t leave until I clean this place up.”

“Christ Jesus,” came the voice from the stall. “What a world. Can’t even shit in peace.”

“Are you closed?” I asked, once I was safely inside my own stall with the door braced shut.

“No, honey,” the cleaning woman said. “You go ahead and go. Mother’s day.” She muttered to herself for a few more minutes. And try as I might, the moment was over and the urgency back up somewhere behind my liver.

It took some serious pizza and one of the smallest bathrooms I’ve ever braved to regain equilibrium. I filled my purse up with napkins and waited for the next attack. It never came.

So I had some of this.

It was a very long ride home in the Edge. At least we had cherry slices.


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