Working in an office sucks goblin cock. I know, I know I have a good job and I should be thankful that even this economblah blah blah blah blah fucking blah Federal Reserve will be downsizing stimulus blah. But on bright, beautiful New York City days that have seemed all too rare in this rain-filled shitstorm of a spring/summer we’ve had so far, I can’t help but wish I were outside in the sunshine. Alas, I’m inside a cavernous “trendy” office building, basking in crappy recessed lighting and trying to stave off that terrifyingly real cliché of becoming a horrid, cranky little office creature like so many poor souls before me.
In order to strengthen my resolve to not turn into a shrieking, fang toothed mutant with the pallor of a U-Boat captain and a strange obsession with jewelry stealing midgets, I try to spend a little time each day after lunch enjoying some “me time” in the park next to my office. And no, I don’t mean “me time” in the way that some dude in the stall next to me earlier this week while I was taking my afternoon constitutional was doing it. Because that was fucking creepy. Unless he was just wiping really, really quickly for several minutes straight. Which is also somewhat worrisome.
No, what I do is saunter on over to lovely Madison Square Park with a big ol’ iced green tea, pop in my headphones, and just chill. Maybe I just lean on a section of fence along the shrubbery (Ni!) for a while, maybe I stroll along the paths with a jaunty spring in my step. Maybe there’s an actual bench open and I can sit down and watch the idiots line up around the block for Shake Shack because food is only good to them if New York magazine says so.
They point is, I get time to enjoy the sights and smells of summer, feel the sun on my face, and, most importantly, I get away from people who try to talk to me. Which is, undoubtedly, one of the worst parts of working in an office. Oh great, the girls I sit near can cluck like chickens about whatever awful TV show they all watch and fish for compliments because one of them ate half a mini Snickers two days ago and is “feeling sooooo fat.” It’s like the sound of Satan scraping his noxious chalk on hell’s Stygian blackboard. Yeah, I said it. The fuck do I care? You’re not reading this anyway, Megan, Keely, and Emily!
Obviously (unless you’re a moron), there are plenty of people in the park on nice days like today. But the important part is that I don’t have to deal with them. I can merely observe them. And it is most amusing because most of them, just like most people everywhere (probably including you) are morons. So today, for your moronic reading pleasure, I have mapped out some of the real winners I saw today in my circuit of the park. Some of these are pretty common and are seen in some form in every park every day of every year anywhere in the world. Other were unique snowflakes. Except ugly.
1. A group of three young professionals in business attire were staring up at the statue of William H. Seward. “Which president was that?” one asked. “See-ward. Hmm, there was no president See-ward. I think.” The second one replied. “Well, seeing as we’re young go-getters, we should probably take time to educate ourselves on this obviously important man. Let us pull out the smart phones we all have and take a quick 30 seconds to learn more about the history of our nation and the greats who helped shape it,” the third one piped up in a wonderful alternate universe where life is swell. “Oh no, a crazy man with sexy scruff and a Charleston River Dogs baseball hat is attacking me with a claw hammer!” the first one screamed in another alternate universe where I am just slightly crazier than in this one.
2. Old man painting a picture of a tree. Every day there’s a different guy painting a picture of that same tree. I can’t be sure why, but this disturbs me on a deep, primal level.
3. Some guy just completely passed out on a bench. Not a homeless guy or a drunk or anything. Just a regular dude, sleeping like a baby. Or I dunno, maybe he was dead. I didn’t check.
4. The Eternal Light Flagstaff was erected on Armistice Day, 1923 to commemorate the US forces that fought in WWI. It is constantly covered by swarms of moderately attractive young people eating food, drinking coffee, and laughing gaily. Seriously, the whole thing looks like a casting call for some show on the CW where a bunch of 28 year-olds play high schoolers banging each other. Where the hell were the horny twenty-somethings when I was in high school? Answer me that, world!
5. Trophy wife with a tiny dog. You can always tell trophy wives because you get the feeling that they should be stripping when you look at them. Same generically hot faces, tiny shorts, and dead, soulless eyes as strippers. Except they look way more smug. And tiny dogs are basically just very loud rats.
6. A large group of Asian school children. Not a generalization. There is usually a group of twenty or so kids with backpacks and a screaming chaperone wandering in an amorphous clump around the park and they are all Asian. Maybe there’s a Chinese elementary school nearby. Maybe Red Dawn really happened and we didn’t even notice. And not the good one with Patrick Swayze and the Cubans.
7. Admiral David Glasgow Farragut is probably best remembered for having said “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” during the course of leading the US Navy to victory at the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5th, 1864. Today I saw a shirtless man in yellow cut-offs tanning at the feet of his bronze likeness. Damn the torpedoes indeed.
8. Chester A. Arthur gets a statue? All right, whatever.
9. More shirtless dudes. Like three of them, just sitting at a table next to the fountain. Really guys? This is a public park, for fuck’s sake. There are children here. Chinese ones. Come on.
10. Woman vomiting her Jamba Juice smoothie into a trash can. Gotta admit, that one surprised even me. And her boyfriend sitting next to her.
11. Did a double take because I thought I saw my friend Rob’s brother Luther. But it turned out it was just a pale girl with an ugly haircut.
12. Spanish language channel news crew doing segment about the current artwork in the park (It’s these weird piles of giant colored rope. I dunno, you Google it. I can’t do all your work for you, you lazy ass). I couldn’t hear a word they were saying, but it was easy to tell that it was for the hispanohablantes. Not just because the whole crew was of a caramel complexion, but because both reporters holding microphones on camera were gorgeous women with heaving, dusky breasts absolutely poured into tight dresses in colors so loud I needed earplugs to ogle them.
At that point, my tea was consumed and it was time for me to return to my office and take my afternoon constitutional (which, if you didn’t figure it out, is when I take a nice, long dumper while playing Word With Friends). And while it is always a bit of a bummer when I face those big glass doors to get back into the building where I like to pretend I’m toiling away, I always know that the park will be there for me the next day to get my dose of peace and vitamin D (which you get from sunlight and I really hope you either knew that or you’re currently suffering from debilitating rickets). And if I ever need a pickup up in between, there’s always latina journalists to brighten my day.