Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Purple Tutu

The day ended pretty much as it had begun…with a man rubbing up on me and the vision on an old woman in a purple tutu.

Morning :
It was 6:30 am when I pulled my hair back into a pony tail and frowned at my reflection in the mirror. “Rise and shine sunshine!” my mom chirped as she entered my room cup of coffee in hand. I blinked away the vision of the old woman in a purple tutu balancing a cheese danish on her nose. She was a product of the all nighter I’d pulled. I may have looked and felt like warmed over crap at the moment but dammit my 22 page paper on interpersonal obstacles was looking like beauty queen material.

Procrastination was not the one to blame for this one. I’d been swamped with back to back papers and between school and the demands of my internship there had been little time to dedicate to this last minute paper, hence the all nighter. Bleary eyed I tried to smooth the crown of my hair down and quickly gave up after the second try. I’d only had 2 hours sleep and I still had a full day at my internship and school to get through. The old lady in the purple tutu winked at me as I headed out the door.

I boarded the crowded bus and headed towards the back where the college students tend to sit. As I started to slide into an empty seat my bag struck the shoulder of my potential seating partner. He turned to face me and swept me from head to toe with his gaze. I apologized to him and began the task of removing my bag and unzipping my coat. He stood up and smiled at me. God had been kind to this man in the looks department. I smiled up at him and apologized again.

The Lehman College logo clued me in to his student status the psych book in his hand confirmed it. Lehman’s very big on foreign students. He said something unintelligible to me in heavily accented English followed by “Dorogaya” which a friend later told me meant my darling in Russian and held out his hand for my bag which I promptly declined. He smiled at me again and when he saw that I’d settled in he sat down next to me and resumed his conversation with this friend. The Russian said something to his friend about me. I assumed it was about me because they were both looking at me and the friend smiled and nodded at the Russian student. For all I know they could’ve been plotting my death or maybe they’d spotted the old woman in the purple tutu as well.

I was lost in thought when a few moments later I felt the Russian’s thigh press against mine. Thinking I must be crowding him I moved over…he moved over as well.I moved again until I was pressed against the metal arm rest. He moved over again.
He seemed to want to sit as close to me as possible. Maybe he was cold and I was keeping him warm. Every now and then he’d say something to his friend and look at me. I was in no mood to attempt to tackle our language barrier and ask him why the hell he was sitting so close. I ignored the length of his thigh pressing against mine. I started to rise as my stop approached and he did too. Despite my protests he scooped up my bag from the floor and settled it on my shoulder and slid the hood of my coat onto my head. “Uh thank you.” I said not knowing what else to say I mean it was freezing outside.

At the Internship :
I dialed my sensei’s office extension as I made my way to the student office this is his version of me clocking in. He hadn’t arrived yet so I left him a message. I let out a breath I wasn’t even aware I was holding. I was glad he wasn’t in yet even though it was just putting off the inevitable. He’d been really angry at me the day before. We’d had an appointment for 4 pm but when he didn’t show up by 4:40 I left assuming he’d forgotten about it as he often does. Unfortunately he’d managed to reach me by phone on the way home and had ripped me a shiny new one. But that wasn’t the real reason he was angry. He kept harping on the real reason and it was that my school supervisor had informed him I would no longer be able to accommodate him by coming in on Fridays because that was supposed to be my day off. I knew that would cause trouble and had told my supervisor so.

My head was throbbing, from the corner of my eye I spotted the old woman with the purple tutu. I started to feel a little shaky, saw spots before my eyes, those were real and not due to lack of sleep.I remembered that I’d skip dinner the night before and hadn’t had any breakfast. I promised to take better care of myself. The lack of sleep and stress of this place was really getting to me.

Afternoon :
My sensei tracked me down and asked to speak in private with me. A huge verbal beat down was launched my way. Over and over again he brought up the fact that I was no longer available on Fridays. The truth is I need that day to focus on school work; he tends to forget that I’m a full time student. I can’t continue to burn my candle at both ends eventually the dripping wax is going to ruin my t-shirt. I rubbed my at my irritated eyes, no way in hell had an old lady in a purple tutu just skate boarded past me but then again this was New York so who the hell knew.

When it was over and he was gone I sat back and decided I’d had enough of his abuse. I gathered my things determined to leave. I didn’t care if it wasn’t quitting time I was done and I wasn’t coming back. Except I couldn’t leave, my bag and lap top were in the other room and there was a session going on. I wanted to curl into a fetal position somewhere and sleep. Yeah I’d had enough. My sensei had finally succeeded in breaking me. I made called my school supervisors and left them a message, “I’m done, I can’t take it no more. I am dropping out." I said.

On My Way To School:
I was replying to my text messages angrily hitting the keys on my phone when I heard people yelling, “Call 9-1-1, call 9-1-1!” I looked around to see what all the excitement was about and noticed that the man who’d been standing behind me at the bus stop was laid out on the sidewalk. He’d fallen and appeared to be having some sort of seizure.

All of a sudden I became bilingual and began issuing orders in English and Spanish. Lucky for them my Arabic is not up to snuff otherwise I’d been issuing orders in Arabic as well. Someone asked for something to put in his mouth in case he swallowed his tongue. I glanced at my brand new phone Oh hell no! I patted around my coat pockets until I found something. I tossed a pack of Orbit Gum at the person nearest person and instructed them to put it in his mouth, the entire pack, not a piece. I wasn’t worried about the state of his breath or his teeth. I knelt beside him to check on him and noticed blood coming from a head wound no doubt from when he’d hit the sidewalk. When he came to he was pretty much out of it. Someone asked if he spoke Spanish and he said yes.

A middle aged woman approached him speaking Spanish.

“Tu esta bien?” (are you okay?) she asked.

“What is she saying? I don’t understand you!” he yelled at the woman.

“Ju okay, ju okay don’t worry day call day police.” She replied.

“I don’t understand you!” he yelled again this time with a nastier attitude.

The woman sucked her teeth in disgust, “Pues jodete!” (well screw you then.)

As the crowd around him tried to comfort him by telling him the police and ambulance were on their way he snapped at them to leave him alone, to get away from him. After several minutes of this they happily complied. Someone handed me my pack of gum back…I wasn’t so sure I wanted it back. damn I just brought this pack of gum! Then I realized I’d spoken Spanish. Damn yo I just spoke fluent Spanish! No gringo accent either! Go me!

The man struggled to his feet and then struggled some more to remain on them, “Stay down, I told him “the ambulance is on their way. “You hit yourself pretty hard I think you might have a concussion.”

I expected him to snarl at me as he had done to everyone else but instead he looked at me and shyly smiled.

“What happened ?” he asked.

I shrugged my shoulders, “One minute you were standing behind me and the next you were passed out on the floor.” I replied.

“Me? Nah, man nah.”

“Yes, you. You were knocked the hell out. ”

“For reals I was knocked out?”

“Damn skippy you were. Look you even puked.” I said pointing to the sidewalk.
When the ambulance arrived he started giving them a hard time. l I shook my head at the EMS worker and got ready to leave my bus was arriving,

“Don’t leave me” the man pleaded. “Fine, I’ll stay but you have to let them look at you.” I said as I watched the crowd board the bus. I knew I was cutting it close but couldn’t in good conscience leave the man.

The Bus Ride To School:

He looked around the bus and despite all the empty seats near him walked to where I was sitting in the back. He smiled at me before he sat down. Something about him made the hair at the back of my neck stand up. He held a bag on his lap. For the next 40 minutes or so as the bus navigated out of the city his leg constantly rubbed against mine. I put it down to the fact that the roads were full of bumps, twist and turns. Then I noticed that even when the road had smoothed out he was still pressing his leg against mine. I glanced at him and noticed he kept applying pressure to the bag on his lap. By this time we were the only ones on the bus. I slid away only to feel him against my leg a few seconds later Holy monkey the bastard is masturbating ! He pressed his leg against mine harder and his leg started rubbing faster and faster. I shot up out of my seat and walked across the aisle. Part of me just wanted to slam my 45 lb book bag onto his lap as hard as I could and make his privates shrivel up in pain. He gave me a big smile. I started to slide my bag off my shoulders. Oh it was so on luckily for him my stop had come up.

The news of my intended action had reached my classroom before I had. Everyone agreed my sensei was the scum of the earth and that they weren’t allowing me to drop out. I was too exhausted to argue. The old woman in the purple tutu stood nearby with her hands on her hips, she was in complete agreement with my fellow students and professor.


My heart did the running man dance of joy in my chest when I spotted my father and the old woman in the purple tutu waiting for me in the student parking lot. The ride home was a quiet one my dad understood my need for silence; we’re kindred spirits in that way. A hot shower and a meal later I padded into my room with my beloved dog Cleo at my side. The old woman in the purple tutu stood beside my bed and lovingly patted my pillow beckoning me to lay my head on it. I gladly obliged, seconds later as I teetered between the worlds of nod and reality my last vision was of the old woman in the purple tutu blowing me a kiss good night.

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