“God, I don’t know how he look themselves in the mirror, you know?” Janet stares blankly out at the bustling street ahead. She looks like she needs a cigarette. “I think it hurts more that he played with my dreams.” Janet is in her late 20s, stained blue jeans, striped shirt peaking out of a black fitted hoodie. “This crazy city…” It’s almost inaudible. She was this close to getting scammed by a Craigslist ad: “$1000, 3 bedroom apartment in the heart of Chelsea. A rare find.” Can’t beat that. She smiles an offbeat smile looking back at me for some kind of reinforcement. I try to offer it. Truth is, there’s a piece of her heart that’s broken; like a break up, or a professional player too close for comfort.
Annie barley lets me get a word in. She’s got enough energy to provide electricity to a small village. Not conventionally beautiful yet you can’t miss her, with her long, forest-thick hair, that raspy voice, and of course, her mind that just speeds through ideas and thoughts and coincidences and fate and destiny and on and on. I soon learn that unemployment is about to run out for her. I wonder if she deals with anxiety by rattling off the way she’s doing?
We’re both waiting for our respective yoga classes. I’m early for mine, Carol’s late for her’s, yet she doesn’t seem bothered by this. And, anyway, her class hasn’t started yet, she tells me. Lately life for Carol seems more valuable, slow, and hopeful, but in a chilled kind of way. No motivational cd’s or books needed here. Why? “I got a cabbage-sized tumor in my stomach.” I show my surprise. She nods her head, “It’s benign. But I gotta get it out.” She’s lanky for her age. It doesn’t seem like something that big could fit in her belly, not at all.
Terry was this close to getting her PhD but because of finances, she dropped out of her program. “It is a source of shame,” Terry reiterates through an open mouthed yawn the size of an apple (we’re tight like that). She’s been running around town since early morning showing apartments to potential renters – another new job. Terry owes a chunk load of change to financial aid after dropping out of her PhD program in Pre-Columbian Art and Archeology at Columbia University. A silence follows after she tells me this.