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The Prisoner of Second Avenue

September 25, 2008

I moved from the Upper West Side to the Upper East Side a few weeks ago, and if I’m to believe that classic anthem from The Jeffersons, such a move means I’m “Movin’ on Up.” Well, I don’t know about all that, but I will say my commute to work has been a little slice of heaven with a side order of zesty gratification! No busses. No subways. No taxis… Just a leisurely 20-minute stroll down Second Avenue.
I’ve been thankful, you know, quite thankful, and I think the powers that be caught wind of the fact I that was now actually enjoying a part of my day. Moreover, it was a part of the day many people despise: namely, the morning commute. I can only assume someone called up the president and said, “this won’t do!” And I’m pretty sure that’s the reason he flew up here to address the United Nations General Assembly. Second Avenue has been awash in police barricades all week, and today I found myself caught right in the middle of one — along with about fifty other innocent pedestrians who, like me, just wanted to get to where they were going.
I tried to spin around and make my escape to the next street over, but it was like, all of a sudden, the fuzz were on all sides of us — telling us to “stay where you are” as they let the traffic move through intersection. I waited and waited for some important-looking vehicles to roll by, but all I saw were a couple of taxis, an SUV and one of those Volkswagens with the giant can of Red Bull mounted on top. No fancy cars. No government plates. No secret service… So, why the hold up?      
Nothing to see here.

Nothing to see here.

Now, I’m not one to bash the men in blue. Yes, some of them are a little baton-happy, and anyone who remembers Harvey Keitel’s masturbation scene from Bad Lieutenant can offer at least a vicarious account of corruption on the force. But cops do a thankless job, and god knows I wouldn’t want to do it. Still, whenever I’m around these folks, I instantly revert back to my shifty adolescence — back to a time when the words “empty your pockets” would send me into a panic.

These days, the only things you’ll find in my pockets are keys, a cellphone, and maybe a couple of those plastic army men. All my chemicals are acquired legally, and, for Pete’s sake, no cop has harassed me in years.

And yet the guilty conscience remains… It must be the uniform.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolina Maine permalink
    September 25, 2008 3:53 pm

    That’s funny. My oldest child has sticky fingers. I told her they have jail for children. It sort of worked. Living in the city sounds nice, but it also sounds stressful. Congratulations on your new move!

  2. September 25, 2008 11:38 pm

    Thanks. Hey, my mom told me there was a jail for children too!

  3. Carolina Maine permalink
    September 28, 2008 8:20 pm

    That’s funny!

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