Aaaah yes! New York City; The Big Apple; The Melting Pot; Capital City of The World! Our city; your city; his city; her city; my city! A city known by so many names, tales, descriptions and stereotypes. They call our city the melting pot because it’s made up of a mix of folks from all around. We’re like this ginormous pot of paella (a Spanish dish prepared by simmering together chicken, seafood, rice, vegetables, and saffron and other seasonings) made up of several different cultures, beliefs, habits, tastes, customs and smells (yes folks, some of our people stink); I LOVE NY! But when you take some time to think about it, which I'm sure you have as we're all tormented with random thoughts from time-to-time, with all our differences, including but not limited to our different stinky perspiration's, we're quite alike. There are moments where we all behave like Siamese twins in this "paella" (pronounced pah-e-lyah, for those who are unfamiliar with the word) of a city. Now you may be asking yourself what the hell is this man of random thoughts talking about. Well, In what follows, I will show you, the reader, or listener if this is being read to you, several scenarios where we unconsciously acquire identical habits, therefore making us, even if u stink, "creatures of sameness." Ooh! I like the sound of that..."creatures of sameness." Hmmm... (In the annoying high pitch voice of a child) I'm a creature of sameness! I'm a creature of sameness! I'm a creature of sameness! Shall we continue?
ve all gone through.
The Restaurant introductions, be it from a hostess, mantra dean, or your waiter(tress), are so rehearsed, and fake that we very rarely ever pay attention to them! Unless it’s a hot-ass chick for us guys or a sexy dude for the ladies, our brain automatically selects small parts of their pre-rehearsed small-talk of “blah!-blah!-blah!”, to let that person know that we're not mildly retarded, we care about our food not being spat on, and we’re on point with everything they’re telling us. If they only knew (which they probably do by the expression on our faces) that at that exact moment, our BRAIN is receiving, and we’re hearing this scene in the following way...(Now forgive me as I make the best possible attempt to verbalize the jargon that comes out of their mouths in their introduction. Aaaaand Action!):
The employee approaches your party, "Hi, my name is shua-shua-blah-blue (smiles). The special of the day is crickie-cra-cra, and foo-foo-ma-blah with a sprinkle (does a sprinkling gesture in the air) of chacky-poo-pa, and a side of rice and beans (we Spanish folks always here the rice and beans part). The employee continues, “The desert of the day is chocolate blah-poo-poo, with a cherry on top (men like cherries hehe), and the drink of the day is shua-shua-shua with pineapple blah-splah, on a blah-flah-blah with whip cream and a shot of tequila on the side (hey, our brain likes whip cream and liquor? Not a bad combo if u know what I saying).” “Now what would you like to drink?”
Now you can’t tell me that you haven’t been through this scene at least once in your lifetime. Shit, I go through this scene every time I go out; especially when I’m starving. OMG! Isn’t it when you’re starving that the freaking waiter wants to look “all-knowledgeable” about how much of the menu he/she has been able to memorize for your amusement. OMG! Just give me the freaking menu, my hot bread with a stick of butter, my glass of water, and show me where the specials of the day are. Thank you very much! I’ll decide what I want to eat…coño! (This is a curse word in Spanish culture closely compared to “damn” “dam it” or “f&#ck”. It all depends on what just happened, or how you feel and who made you feel this way. In Dominican culture, this is by far, our universal curse word. Sorry for the side bar).
The subway scene
In everyday life, for most New Yorkers (myself included…shut up! Hehe), mass transit is the way to go! Unless of course, you’re one of these snobs who, with a tone of superiority towards others, and with a vocal pitch as if they had a finger stuck up their asses say,
"Not me, I drive into work. I can't deal with rush hour. Too much chaos and people for me. I suffer from claustrophobia".
Ah shut up! But anyway, (sorry for the side-bar vent), back to business! When you think about it, it is crazily insane how our habits in public transit are so ridiculously alike. For instance, most of us rush out of our homes, with 2 point 2 seconds left on the clock. Why is this? Well because in our train calculating expertise, we’ve been able to take note of the exact time, and speed rate in which a train will enter the station. Furthermore, we even have a few back-up plans, and know the exact time of the next two or three trains as well. We have that shit synchronized, like we use to do in High School with that “end of the period BELL.” You remember that right? I don’t care if you went to school during the 80’s and early 90’s and heard a real bell, or went to school afterwards, when the ringing was replaced by an electronic buzz, we all synchronized our watches to that freaking thing. Regardless of what sound you heard, there was always that one kid, maybe it was you, who had the timing of that bell down to the last second. He/she would even do the countdown in silence while picking up his/her bag, to walk out the door while the teacher was still talking. Creatures of Sameness? I think so. But anyway, for some odd reason, most of us go to the train in the same way, every single day. We walk or run (depending how many seconds are left on our stop watch) towards the train as if a nuclear war-head missile was homing in on the crack of our asses. Shit, some of us have even developed rush our ninja skills. We can't dance salsa, or keep a calorie count, but we can move in and out between thousands of bystanders, taking short cuts, jay walking and even sliding down a railing if we must, just in time to squeeze in between the closing doors (“Stand clear of the closing doors please”).
Now if you’re not one of the ninja skilled, than you’re probably one of those folks that makes it to the platform on “good-time.” Just with enough time to read a little bit more of your favorite magazine, or book, or shuffle through your favorite songs on your iPod. You may not be in a hurry a day in your life, but, you’re known to other strap hangers as the mother-freaking “seat-hogger”, who through time has developed blood thirsty vampire-eagle-eye skills to seek-and-destroy. What do I mean? Well, you’re one of them folks that as the train approaches the platform, quickly scans the insides of the speedy train with x-ray like vision, squinting as you locate any empty seat. Once you find one, you immediately position yourself, in an angle towards the opening door, so that no other citizen or green-card holder can skip you. The event becomes a freaking thrill ride as all strap hangers, including you, head for the races. As you run towards that seat, in between the chubby guy and a homeless man who’s been sleeping there for 7 hours, you pray and hope that you don't run into a 90 year old lady or an 8 1/2 month old pregnant girl, so that you won’t be forced to relinquish your seat. Once you’re seated, you make it your mission not to ever give your seat up if your life depended on it. You begin to play little games within your head, like the “let me close my eyes and make believe I’m into this song game”, or the “make believe I’m all into this book game” or the ever so popular and my personal favorite, the "make believe I'm sleeping game", so that no one would bother to even ask you to please give up your seat. Come on, don't lie, u know you've played this game before. You remain rigid as you peek around through your semi-closed eyes, looking on through the hairs of your eye lashes to see if the person in need, like that 100 year old grandmother of 25, or the woman who’s giving birth right in front of you, begs with their eyes for your seat. Cruel wouldn’t you say? Maybe so, but you’re shocked to see that you’ve done this before right? Don’t be, it’s a part of who we are.
A Gas crisis
Come on! Don’t tell me you haven’t been through that embarrassing day. You know, maybe had a little too much melted nacho cheese in that chili; a little too many yogurts in the morning; too many pinto-beans in that burrito during lunch time. It’s now a little after 5pm, and your stomach is going bonkers! Not because you’re hungry, or are suffering from a major stomach virus, but because your extremely bloated, and there’s a war of gases taking place in your “insides”. And of course, you have pride, you’re of the higher classes. Maybe you’re one of those “drive-to-work” folks I mentioned a little earlier in this segment of sameness. You can’t possibly take care of the infamous, and now popularly referred to “#2”, or “take-a-poop” in the “can”, or “ the john”, or the toilet at work. What? “Never will I Mr. or Ms. (Your Last Name Here), ever, ever, ever, use a toilet out of my own my home to do the-poop thing.” “That is just disgusting!” Well, just great, your body would like to take this time to thank you for the torture you’re making it go through. It could’ve simply been a harmless form of a flatulent expression. One of those wonderful enormous “gassy” farts (which bring great relief I might add), or maybe just a “row” of baby farts lined up in single line formation, waiting for the appropriate moment of release; freedom! As it is for those of us who suffer from heartburn (myself included), that can’t seem to find a pack of TUMS or ROLAIDS when struck with the uncomfortable symptoms associated with acid reflux, the same goes for our fellow “gassy” counter-parts; there are no anti-gas tablets in sight. Heck, the only time we’ve really seen an anti-gas medicine is on TV in a late-night infomercial. Presenting Gastro Herbal, for the quickest relief...
Anyway, seeing no other solution, your stubborn ass (literally speaking, since it is this area of the body that we’re currently concentrating on…how ironic), decides to fight the forces of human nature, and make a break for home, in hope that when you finally arrive there, the toilet will be unoccupied.
OMG! Your subway “ninja skills” come into full affect now. You zoom through the other 1.5 million pedestrians like a swift wind. If only they knew, you were holding-in a number of “swift-winds” yourself. If you weren’t a subway “seat-hogger” before, you definitely become one now, running to the first available seat to trap the tormenting vibrations being caused by your butt cheeks. This is when you remember God, yes, even you “so called Atheist”. You begin to silently recite the speech that has been made ever-so popular by the drunk folks: “Please let me make it home!” “Please let me make it home!” Please let me make it home!” You do your best not to make the slightest inappropriate move, in fear that a little “spurt” of gas may involuntarily ooze out, but you just can’t control it. The forces from within are just a bit too powerful for you. With the AC on blast, you decide to give things a little test. You say to yourself, “If I were to let one go, and feel nothing coming afterwards, I’ll be an awesome condition to relax, and maybe even fall asleep in front of this little old lady. At that exact moment, “The Conscious” interrupts. Throughout the centuries, and since the times of Adam, it has been known that the conscious pays a visit in the most crucial and decisive times, and it has chosen the most opportune time to provide it’s “2 cents” of advice. It says, “Listen, Mr. or Ms. (Your last name here), this is your conscious speaking, I don't mean to interrupt you, but if you decide to do this, you must be prepared for the repercussions.” With stubbornness, you respond “What repercussions?” The conscious answers, “Well, if you decide to go through with this manifestation, and something a little more “solid” follows, you’ll find yourself in a very BIG PROBLEMO, and you would be on your own with this one." You see, I'm, in a sense, of the spiritual form, and I think you would agree that there's no way in hell or heaven, if you're of the optimistic type, that I can help you out with this "pooh-pooh" situation; it's all on you (literally).
You sit back in your chair, and give this dramatic scene some thought and, to the relief of your conscious, you take it's advice and wait till you get home. When you arrive home, things that you usually did with your eyes closed, are now giving you trouble. You pushed the entrance door, when for the past 25+ yrs of your life, you know that it's always been a pull door. You decide to wait for the elevator when you know for a fact, that it's not going to come to your rescue. You hit the stairs, and as you reach your door, you can't seem to get the key into the keyhole. It is at that moment that you realize you were using the wrong freaking key! Your body unconsciously goes into the "pooh-pooh" dance. You know the "pooh-pooh" dance, you begin to rock at the hip from side to side, front to back, as your bum-bum, keeps giving you that annoying pushing sensation at the rhythm of every heartbeat. (OMG! You know exactly what I'm talking about don't you!) You finally get inside your apartment, sprint over hurdles of three out-of-place dining chairs, smack your dad, kick the cat, tackle the dog, spit at your grandmother (OK, maybe that's a little too much), ninja flip over your grandmother (much better), and you make it to the bathroom. You instantaneously sit your ASS on the toilet and let it rip. Wow! World War III anyone? The explosion scares the shit out of you (not literally, though you kind of wish it did). It's a thunderous-volcanic gas, followed by spurts of machine-gun-like gases, followed by baby farts, a side-angled final wheeze, and then nothing else...nothing else. You give yourself a few minutes just to be 110% sure. First, because your conscious was talking all that shit (literally), 2nd, because a 1% miscalculation could be a devastating and uncomfortable situation, and 3rd you don't want to even imagine going through all of that for NOTHING! Sadly, time goes by, and you come to the realization, that...that...that...it was all just a false alarm. Fu#%ing Conscious! Noticing your anger, the conscious tags in one last time for the day and says,
"NEXT TIME USE THE TOILET AT WORK, YOU FU#%ING IDIOT!"