Sage Wisdom from South First Street
For those of you who are unaware, I have been without telephone and Internet service for going on three days. In fact, a great number of my fellow far north Greenpointers (Verizon customers all) are in the same predicament. The word infuriating does not begin to describe what it is like to be in such a situation. Last night I finally lost it. Here’s how it happened.
Two weeks ago I lost my credit card. I call the credit card company and make arrangements for them to send me a new one. No problem. Last weekend the PIN for my ATM card quit working. Let’s think about this: having neither a credit card nor a functioning ATM card is going to make, say buying groceries or doing laundry, a lot more difficult. I am on my last clean top as I write this.
Monday: I take a bag of change to the Key Food, pump it into the Coinstar Machine and walk away with a phat thirteen bucks. This money gets spent on food and subway fare so I am back to square one: being broke. My new credit card arrives in the mail.
Tuesday: Shortly after awakening I realize that I have no Internet or telephone service whatsoever. When I take my brand-spanking new credit card down to the local beauty supply to get some much needed hygiene products, I learn that a great number of other people are having the same problem. This became apparent after I was told that their credit card machine was not working.
I then took the subway into Manhattan, go to my credit union and withdraw $60.00. I also asked them to reset my PIN for my ATM card. This four digit ticket to accessing my own money will be mailed from Los Angeles. Great.
Wednesday: After spending a lot of money at Internet cafes, I break down and call a good friend of mine who lives in Bushwick. I ask if I can get a set of keys from her and work from her apartment on Thursday. She says sure. I am to be there at 9:00 p.m. I arrived at 9:03 p.m., we talked a little and I headed back home.
When I got to Scholes Street and Graham Avenue I discovered another hardship that comes with having no Internet access: no online weather alerts. Had I known a torrential downpour was about to commence, I would have planned accordingly. Unfortunately, I did not know this important piece of dignity-saving information and ended up getting thoroughly soaked.
As I seethed with black rage my husband made the mistake of asking:
Are you alright?
I turned around and looked at him. The ball of rage that had already formed in my stomach came forth from my mouth full force:
No, I am not O.K. I AM FUCKING PISSED!
Nary a single word was uttered the entire bus ride home.
I discovered the above tableau earlier this week on South First Street. The sign to the right reads:
To live sick better drunk.
I was initially confused by this cryptic message. Thankfully, the chaos wrought by having no telephone or Internet service for three days (thanks Verizon), has lent me a special understanding of what this truism means. What’s more, I wholeheartedly agree with it.
Right now I am at my friend’s apartment in Bushwick. I am hot; there is no air conditioning. She has left to run some laundry; I am alone. There are three bottles of Newcastle Ale in her refrigerator.
But not for much longer.