Our Mayor is a Billionaire and We Have to Pay the Price

And the city is a madhouse.

And rush hour is an insanity.

5:00 p.m. Commuters descend the staircase en masse at 60th St. and 5th Ave. The moment our feet touch the station floor, the multitudes disperse. Individual lines begin feeding through turnstiles. Me, included.

Metrocard in hand, ready to swipe, a body suddenly muscles against me. Next, I feel a deliberate thump on my shoulder.

I turn to the middle-aged, scowling business woman at my right. Incredulous, I say, “You hit me…?”

“I was bringing my hand down!” she screeches. “It’s too crowded in here. Christ!” And she takes off.

Animal!  — This, I say to myself.

Before I know it, the day is over, I’m exhausted, I sleep fitfully, and then the alarm goes off. A new day begins.

Running late, I catch a bus on the corner. When we reach 75th St., the driver doesn’t make his usual lefthand turn toward the subway station.

Why? A garbage truck is parked in the middle of the street next to a mountain of trash. Our bus driver decides to go rogue.

He bypasses 75th St. and drives to 73rd Street. On 73rd, a double-parked truck is delivering produce. He bypasses 73rd St. and keeps going — and going.

An elderly man next to me looks worried. “What is he doing?” he asks. He probably thinks he’s in the Sandra Bullock move, “Speed.”

I explain to him about the garbage truck. He seems momentarily relieved and says, “This is a smart driver.”

But as we reach 69th St. (the subway station is at 74th St.), the man’s facial expression changes to annoyance.

I’m familiar with this bus driver. He’s a grumbler. He makes asides. Actually, they’re more like stage whispers.

Once, on a very crowded bus, I was standing near the front door. Each time he pulled into a bus stop and more people got on, he would mutter something like,” Can’t they walk a lousy few blocks? It’s nice out.”

I was pretty hilarious. Except, now I fear he’s having a breakdown.

At last — thankfully  — we arrive at the 74th St. station, via the circuitous route, in record time (because he was turning corners on two wheels).

On the R train, luckily, I get a seat. I open my brand new book, “An Available Man,” by Hilma Wollitzer, a birthday gift from J.C., which I am eager to begin reading.

But, as luck would have it, a big-mouth 20-something Asian guy boards the R train holding an electronic device the size of a iPhone in front of his face and starts reading Bible stuff from it (I don’t know what Bible it came from — no Bible I’ve ever read).

One of his “quoted passages” goes something like this: Television is a sin, according John (verse something or other). Never watch television. Television’s evil lasts 30 minutes, he continues — straight reading — no improvisation- without an scintilla of dramatization. Like a robot). I want to strangle him.

I try reading the first paragraph of my new book four times before giving up and closing the book.

The train pulls into the next stop. This idiot says, loudly, before departing, “Thank you for listening.”

“Like we have a choice,” I mutter to the guy sitting next to me.

And this guy next to me says,”They have mass on television”  (as in, how could that guy not know that?)

Which brings to mind Max von Sydow’s character’s classic rant from the Woody Allen film:


Tomorrow is another day!

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