|Photo Credit: The Atlantic|
“Is everything ok? I’m at your house,” texted the babysitter.
Asher was in the backseat of the car taking off his kippah after Hebrew school.
“Shhhhiiii …yy……OOT!” I yelled.
“On way!” I texted at a traffic light.
Before I received that text, I was thinking that as soon as I got home I could feed the boys and then crawl under my blankets and go to sleep. I had a raging cold. My eyes burned angry and cursed my lids for opening after each blink. My pockets bulged with tissue, right pocket clean, left pocket dirty. Now I had to rally. I had tickets to see David Sedaris at Carnegie Hall for months. We were fucking going!
Siri got Gabriella on the phone.
“I forgot dat we hab David Sedaris tickets!! The sitter is at duh house, and I’b going to get on duh first train I can.”
“How are you feeling?” she asked.
“Like ASS! But we hab TICKETS!! See you there.”
The rest of the night was a cold-infested blur.
I got to the train station 5 minutes after the last train. Next train-7:19PM. I would have to wait for 45 minutes to get into Penn Station at 7:54PM. I would be late. I hate being late. Hate. I called Gabriella who heard the stress through my congested, cracking voice.
“Don’t worry. You’ll be a little late. Nothing you can do. Get yourself a tea and relax.”
I knew I shouldn’t. It’d go right through me. But a hot tea sounded so comforting. I made a plan to evacuate my waters right before getting on the train. I implemented that plan but about 15 minutes into my train ride, I felt the early signs of Brimming Bladder.
Just ignore. Just ignore. You can go to the bathroom at Penn, I told myself.
But I didn’t go at Penn. I ran. I ran and did not stop running from the moment those train doors opened.
I ran and I cursed and I coughed and I cursed and talked to myself all the way to Carnegie Hall.
“Why the fuck did I put on these boots? The high-heeled boots that are too big for my feet? I can’t run in these fucking boots! Shuttup Deborah. Keep running!! Run to the N train. Run. Run up these stairs! And now these stairs!! So many … huh huh huh huh …many goddam stairs….run. Run down the longest tunnel underground known to man. Pretend you’re running from the Nazis! Oh god, why does everything have to be about Jewish persecution?!? I blame my mother. Everyone hates Jews, according to my mother. David Sedaris probably does, too. Oh Jesus. Just run for fuck’s sake! Now stop picturing yourself falling. That is UNHELPFUL. Boots. Fucking boots. Huh huh huh wheeze huh huh wheeze. Am I even running? I think I’m shuffling. I’m shuffling quickly, but I don’t think anyone would call this running. Well fuck them anyway. Have they ever had to run for miles in ill-fitting boots without the ability to breath through both notstrils? Shuffling my ass! Huh huh huh huh COUGH huh huh…”
I shuffled my way to the N and got out underneath Carnegie Hall. “I’m almost there…. And I just have to run up these five thousand six hundred seventy nine goddam mutherfucking stairs!!”
I emerged from the station gagging on the air I was forcing down my seizing throat. Gabriella was standing in the doorway like God at the gates of Heaven in a really bad dream about how I couldn’t get into heaven unless I ran from New Jersey to Carnegie Hall in high-heeled boots, one-size too big for my feet to make up for a wasted life. “Wait, how did Gabriella get into Heaven so easily?!? No justice. No justice…no pee!”
“SHIT I have to pee!! But no time. They are closing the doors at 8:11PM, and I have made it just in time. We are the last to arrive, but I actually made it. I ma-GAK- ok swallow. Pee at intermission.”
Did I make it to the lavoratory or did I evacuate into a funnel made from my Playbill program? And how was the show? Stay tuned for Part Deux.