Don’t judge, I haven’t been able to wash the floors.
This morning, after I took Art Child to school I walked over to the grocery store. It’s a nice day, not too far from the school, and I am healing, so I figured I should be productive. The plan was to do this yesterday, but I was shot after physical therapy. Total win–it wasn’t crowded, I got my shopping done without falling, most people are courteous and give the lady with a cane room to maneuver. Sure, a couple knocked into me, but I think that’s the general invisibility of middle aged with no make-up. I stuck to budget and kept in mind things that would be quick and easy to prepare.
If only I had paid attention to the weight of things I was purchasing. Or the broken elevator (it’s Manhattan, square footage tends to be vertical instead of horizontal, larger grocery stores are broken into two floors). I intended to take a cab home. Well worth it under any circumstances, this store is considerably less expensive than those within a few blocks of my apartment. At this point, my pelvis/hip still can’t handle the subway stairs or the jostling of the train, so taxi it is. Pricey but convenient.
This particular block is always difficult for hailing a cab. There are three bus stops, an express subway stop is in the middle of the street, it’s only a block away from the exit/entrance to the highway, and two major avenues cross each other and switch places. In other words, it’s crowded, be patient. I waited. And waited. Not one empty cab went by. Well, maybe one did one of the six times I was blocked off by buses pulling in and out. Ten minutes. I should have asked for help while I was in the store, I still could have gone back inside and asked. Except I was embarrassed, because an acquaintance of mine works in there, and I had just told her how well I was doing, there was no need for me to cut the line to reach the cashier ahead of others. Hence the title of this post, no logic. Finally, a cab at the far corner. And a woman carrying bags sprinted ahead of me while I was trying to figure out how to pick my bags back up and got to it before the light changed. She turned towards me when she opened the door, and I saw she had a baby strapped to her chest. Fair enough, babies first.
I kept waiting. Now I was getting irritated, thinking about how much I just want to be home, and I didn’t even get everything I needed at the damned store. And watching cabs with lit numbers (means they’re empty) go past on the opposite side of the avenue–the direction I actually needed to be headed. Between the general weight of the bags, and the fact that I didn’t pay attention to how they were packed, there was no freaking way I’d make it all the way across the street. I know, sounds crazy, but I’m broken and this is a really, really wide street. I considered calling Fatigue and asking him to come help me, but I figured even if he didn’t have a dogwalk scheduled, there was no way he’d reach me before a cab came. I should have called.
By the time another fifteen minutes passed, I had gone well beyond my physical limits for the day, and was ready to start sniveling. Then, could it be? Yes! Stopped at the light across the street but on the side of the avenue I was on, was an empty cab. My spine crackled with the thought of a seat, not to mention needing to lift the bags again. And then he changed lanes, to turn away from me. Fringelings, I seriously imagined throwing my kale at that cab.
Pretty dumb, huh? But that’s what went through my overactive imagination. No, I didn’t throw my vegetables, and don’t believe I would. Then I thought about how many people with brown skin have empty taxis pass them by on a regular basis. One small thing, but it’s a symptom, and that one small thing might not feel so small if it happened all the time. And I thought about the many comments I’m seeing on my Facebook feed, declaring a complete lack of understanding for why so many in poor Black communities are so frustrated during protests that some will riot. Anyone can have the type of accident I had, it happens all the time, no matter what socioeconomic status. I’m not able to walk any dogs right now, and I cringe thinking of the bill from the orthopedist, but I was able to say I’ll skip the salt and vinegar chips, buy the store brand yogurt, and thereby pay for a cab to get groceries home. I became irate from being inconvenienced. Once. This moment, this nuisance of waiting an unusually long time for a taxi? This is privilege.
For the record, I gave it one more shot and waved my cane–the cab driver who had changed lanes? He changed back and picked me up.