Friday, September 2, 2011
In a Hurry!
“Oh my god I’m late!” screamed Hank, flying from his bed.
He quickly pulled on the first pair of pants he could find and yanked on a dress shirt and buttoned it quickly, grabbing a tie as he dashed out of the room. He ran into the bathroom and quickly fussed with his hair to make himself look somewhat presentable and took a swig of mouthwash and, grabbing his phone, wallet and keys, bolted from his apartment.
He couldn’t wait for the elevator, and the constant swishing of mouthwash was getting to him. He sprinted down the stairs from his thirty-second floor apartment and thought that it would have been faster to have waited for the elevator.
He finally reached the first floor and threw open the door to the stairs, hitting an elderly woman in the back, causing her to fall forward dropping all the bags that she had been carrying. “Oh my god!” he shouted, spewing mouthwash onto the linoleum floor of the front lobby as he began helping the woman up, while repeating all sorts of “I’m sorries,” and proceeding to pick up all of her bags, while still checking the wall clock behind him.
“Just go, Hank,” laughed the old woman. He had been in such a rush, he hadn’t even noticed it was his neighbor, Mrs. Carmichael.
“Thanks Mrs. C!” he yelled and ran out the front door.
He stopped for a moment to shield his eyes. “Crap!” he exclaimed, noticing he forgot his sunglasses, again.
“Whatever,” he mumbled to himself, “I’ll live.”
He ran towards the subway.
“Hey Hank!” he heard someone yell as he was reaching the stairs down to the 1, 2 and 3 uptown trains.
He turned around and saw his friend James. ‘Oh man, not now,’ he thought. He didn’t have time for this. He fidgeted like he was a little kid that needed to pee. “Hey Seamus, what’s new?” he asked, while looking behind his friend to see the time on a clock nearby.
“Dude, you look like you’re in a rush to get somewhere,” said James, casually, acknowledging that Hank was in a rush, but not doing the curtesy of just saying, “GO!”
“Where you off to?” James asked.
Suddenly Hank slowed down. He thought hard for a moment. “I actually have no idea,” he replied, confused. “I know I need to be somewhere, and I know that I’m going uptown, apparently, since I’m going down to that station, but I’m not quite sure… hmm…”
“Eh,” replied James, “that’s not that weird. You’re a New Yorker! We’re always in a rush, even if we don’t know what it’s for.”
“Huh,” laughed Hank, slightly, “maybe you’re right…”
James patted Hank on the shoulder as he went to walk off, “Well, best of luck getting to wherever you’re going to on time!”
Hank stood still for a split second after James left and then let his body take over, again.
He sprinted down the stairs, two at a time, semi-marveling at the feat, seeing as he had always been terrified to do that before. He shoved his MetroCard into the machine, forgetting to get it back as he ran through, only remembering after he threw himself onto a 1 train and watching the doors close behind him.
“I still had, like, 40 bucks on that thing!” he cried, pinning himself against the door window as the train sped off.
“Gotta hate when that happens,” said some guy in a trench coat.
Hank was not about to get into a conversation with some random stranger on a subway. Those conversations never ended well for him. The last few times lead to him being mugged, being hit on by a male stripper, and being confused for someone’s dead son. He casually walked up the car, trying to put distance between himself and the stranger, but the guy was persistent. He kept following after him, trying to have a conversation. ‘What luck!’ he thought. Why did he always have to run into the lunatics. There were tons of other people on the train, but this guy had to talk to him. On this day! Whatever day this was.
The train reached it’s next stop, and even though he was still way downtown, and even though he somehow knew he needed to go further, he got off. He ran up the stairs and got back out onto the street. Where was he… Canal Street… He pulled out his phone and checked the time, he needed to move quicker.
“Hank!” he heard a woman yell.
‘You have got to be kidding me!’ he thought.
It was Stacey, his very needy secretary, who thought they had a future together, or maybe just wanted to be friends, or maybe wanted to be him, or who knows. All he knew, was Stacey gave him the creeps and he had no time for this.
He haled a cab.
“Wait!” she yelled and grabbed his shirt.
“I gotta go!” he exclaimed.
“Well, if you’re in such a hurry to get somewhere important,” she said, unbuttoning his top button on his shirt as his eyes flew open and went to grab her hands, (‘I mean, come on, now she was really going too far!’ he thought) but then she continued, “maybe you should have your shirt buttoned properly!” and she continued to unbutton him and then rebuttoned him properly.
“Oh,” he stated in slight shock, “thanks Stacey. I’m sorry I can’t…”
“No,” she said, “I know how important today is, go!”
Before he could ask why it was important, she pushed him into the cab and closed the door. Realizing this run-in had wasted him some time, he shouted, “Go!”
“Where to?” the cab driver asked.
“I’m not quite sure,” Hank admitted, “but I gotta go uptown.”
“New Yorkers,” laughed the cab driver, always in a hurry, even if they don’t know where to.”
After driving for a while and instructing the cab driver to go on the West side of the park as he tied his tie, he suddenly jammed his hands into the plexiglass window separating him and the driver and shouted, “Stop!!!”
The driver screeched to a stop, thinking he was about to hit someone, but Hank shoved money into the small drawer in the plexiglass to pay the driver and ran from the car like it was about to explode.
He reached into his pocket, not quite sure what he was looking for, pulled out his wallet and pulled out a ticket.
He ran into a building, not even comprehending where he was, and shoved the ticket into a woman’s hand, grabbing a program from her without breaking a beat.
He reached two double doors and a man opened a door gently for him as he arrived and Hank burst into a darkened room.
There, down the aisle before him, glowing in a pure white light he finally realized why he was rushing. Nina. His heart went out to the petite girl on the stage before him as she danced with the elegance, he thought, of a feather in the breeze. Her movements were gentle and his eyes began to tear at the sight of her on the stage, alone, dancing her first solo on this stage.
He looked away for a moment, only to wipe his eyes and saw the name of the ballet on his program below the words, “Lincoln Center,” and was overjoyed as he lowered his arm and felt the bulge in his pant pocket where the ring box sat; thankful that his subconscious picked it up as he ran from his apartment.