A Train between Chambers Street and Hoyt-Schermerhorn

Tiny Sparkplug Lady–cherry-red lipstick, aqua pashmina,  giant gypsy earrings–crammed in next to Big Butch Lady–sunglasses, Mets cap, Polartec vest over button-down Oxford shirt–commiserating at top volume on a packed rush-hour train.

Butch Lady: He doesn’t understand right from wrong.

Tiny Lady: No he doesn’t.  No he does not.  Now my mother raised me with consequences.  She said, You made your bed?  Bitch you’re gonna lie in it.  But he doesn’t understand consequences.  He doesn’t understand that for every action–

Butch Lady: There’s  a reaction.

Tiny Lady: That’s right.  That’s Einstein.  E equals MC squared.  But he doesn’t understand that.  What does he do?  He practically dislocates my shoulder.  On my fiftieth birthday.  Do I need that?

Butch Lady: No you don’t.

Tiny Lady: I do not need that on my fiftieth birthday.  But I’m stupid about him.

Butch Lady: Yes you are.

Tiny Lady: I am, I’m stupid.  You know how we met?

Butch Lady: No.

Tiny Lady: In high school, we were in high school together.  In ninth grade they let me in the fashion show, I was advanced for my age and they let me walk in this fashion show and he was in eleventh grade at the time and they took a picture of the two of us on stage together.  And nineteen years later I saw him on Ocean Avenue and I had that feeling, you know that feeling when you see someone and you think you know them?

Butch Lady: Uh-hunh.

Tiny Lady: I had that feeling so I walked right up to him, I said, Do you know who I am? I said, You come to my house I will show you a picture of yourself with an afro you are not gonna believe.  I still had that picture in my house like new, no creases in it or anything.  I thought it was a sign.  I thought I was a cosmic chicken.  Now I got a sheet cake this big in my fridge, no bites in it.  I could not touch that cake, my fiftieth birthday cake.  You asked me how my birthday was?

Butch Lady: Yeah?

Tiny Lady: People asking me how was my birthday, what did I do on my fiftieth birthday?  I say I kept my sanity.  That’s what I did.  That’s all anybody needs to know.

Published in: on April 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm  Leave a Comment