One of these days, Kathleen‘s blog will get up and running. Until then, it is my responsibility to bring these little nuggets of joy into your life.
Imagine that you are in the New York City subway heading to the Upper West Side on the delightful 1 train. And upon my feet, what do you see?
A roll of Whole Foods 365 brand paper towels just lying there– fully wrapped, fully abandoned.
If you are Kathleen you turn to me with a raised eyebrow and ask, “Is it too gross to take these? Is it too sad?”
I reply, “Actually, if you hadn’t said something, I probably would have.”
When you are money poor you learn that beggars can’t be choosers.
Sure, it was a little embarrassing. Sure, I contemplated how to look as though I wasn’t really with her– that I had no connection to this crazy woman picking household goods off the floor of a subway station in midtown.
Afterwards we crammed onto the uptown 1, paper towels stowed under Kathleen’s arm. We decided that since every penny saved is an extra penny towards our new life dream of learning how to speed skate (based on Kathleen’s family being in Ballston Spa & our strong thighs, plus a little residual Olympic fever) that we had made the right choice. As I get out the one liner that was much better in person, a woman standing nearby turned to us with a questioning face, turned away and then turned back to us and said, “Wait what?”
So then we had to explain the paper towels, explain my love of short track, how I am job hunting, our speed skating pact (glad I’m publicizing that here… ) et cetera, et cetera. Then I ended up noting that I would probably write about it in my blog and let me tell you, I have never been sorrier that I have yet to have personal business cards made up. I bet I could have had one more reader after that exchange.
At any rate: Kathleen was really happy about the paper towels, a New York subway experience of bizarreté was had and we got a few great pictures too. Plus, our destination was her new apartment sans furniture or napkins for the celebratory pizza and beer.
So you see, Kathleen knew what she was doing when she sacrificed her dignity and took paper towels out of the subway.
And this is just how life is when you are a poor twenty-something trying to live the life in Manhattan. Some people go on food stamps, some people sell their eggs, others walk to and from work and when a monsoon forces them to indulge in a metro card payment they pillage the offerings of subway stations.