Selected past articles from this section are available in the Day in the Diet Archives.
A Day in the Diet
A funny thing happened to me on the way to Queens…
My brother practically forced me to go to class. I knew I had to go and I sure did want to drop the class as my chest area hurts with grief. How can I possibly concentrate in an Organizational Behavior class at a graduate level with everything that I am going through? I knew I had to do it regardless. What was my other option? Not going, taking that much longer to graduate? There are times when I was sitting in class and the images and sounds of July 4th enter my mind with no warning. I sit in class and literally have to shake my head to dismiss the pain of reliving that trauma. I hear the voice shouting, saying “I will put a gag on you.” Twice, he said it. I was not alive when he spoke to me that way, I was not human. I was nothing. I had no rights, no say, no acknowledgment as a living being. I was sweating from my collar bone area, back drenched in sweat, and taking my final examination for this graduate course. People in class do not know what happened, except a few. My professor does not know. The exam itself does not know. I am expected to perform. And perform I did. I did well in my midterm and ended up with a “B”. That’s excellent, considering I am still trying to learn who this new person is inside of me. I am myself, minus the unconditional love that I received daily from Dunkin’. That truly has impacted my outlook on the rest of life due to the traumatic experience.
After the exam, I headed to meet my mother in Queens. I am a creature of habit, and every Saturday afternoon after a 7 hour class, I hop on the F at 42nd Street and head home. I got on the F with the intention of meeting my mother asap. After all, it was Saturday, and there was sun today. I wanted to be outdoors as much as possible. Commuting sub-terra is not my idea of a fun Saturday. As I sat in the train for about 10 minutes I decided to glance up. My head had been focused on the book for my next class which starts mid next month. I do like getting an idea of the material prior to beginning the class.
As I glanced, I saw the station name, “Delancy.” Ugh! You have got to be kidding me, I reeled in my brain as my body reacted and jumped out of the train. I had just traveled ten minute in the wrong direction. Creature of habit that I am, I got on the train heading to downtown rather than uptown. I rang my mother from the platform upstairs, reading the signs “No F trains from this station heading uptown.” Ugh again. I really wanted to get to Queens fast in order to get back to my lovely east village neighborhood even faster. The sun was not waiting.
On the phone with my mother I explained I am walking to the F train on Second Ave, a ten minute walk. Enjoy the walk, hija, it’s a beautiful day and you love the sun. I enjoyed the day step by sunny step. Leaves rustled in the breeze in their final green stage before falling for autumn which is right around the corner. I enjoyed the walk so much that I walked past the Second Avenue station by 4 blocks and was heading for my apartment instead of the station. It happened again, I was distracted and heading in the wrong direction. At this point I laughed and my mother said destiny is destiny. Since this is part of my new mantra, I listened to my mother and headed for the 6 to transfer to the E to Queens. But why on Earth would this happen, Ma? Don’t question it. No rush, you will get here.
The train darted towards me on the platform glowing a red “E” and I felt the first relief all day. The final exam was done, I was finally on a win win situation that would get me to my destination and I had not lost as much time as I thought, 45 minutes tops. As I entered the train, a man ran the length of a cabin and grabbed my arm gently. Does this take me to Hillside? How would I know, I thought, I don’t know Queens that well. Maybe it does, what street do you want, what stop you are looking for? At this point, he was sitting beside me and on the E, whether he was on the right path or not.
He was an attractive man, long hair, auburn I would say, held back by something that a woman might wear but it worked on him. We tried figuring out where he was going, but he hadn’t much of a clue being from Connecticut and visiting relatives or something. Then the conversation flowed and the smiles came into play. And play we did. He showed me his work, very impressive as a contractor. We talked about covert ops, plans for the future, what is going on in the present, etc. Leave it to a Gemini man to know what to say to a Gemini woman. I like talking and meeting people in all places and this was quite a way to make a new acquaintance.
Somewhere in between Sunnyside and Forest Hills, I was in mid sentence and the man looked at my face saying that I had something on it. Wonderful, I thought, sarcastically. Here I am chatting away with a creature perhaps growing on my face or some lettuce stuck in my hair and I hadn’t the foggiest. He leaned in and I thought, oh, it’s on my chin? He leaned in more, his hand on my cheek now. Innocence is alive in me still, after all I have seen and experienced, I waited for him to groom the dust off of my face. He continued leaning in until my lips were wrapped in his. Connecticut kissed me.
What does one do? I’ve experienced life and yes, I have been told I look quite great by a lot of people lately, but that doesn’t get you ready for a stranger who stops you to meet you and then molest you on a train. Judging by my reaction, I was not being molested. It has been a long time since someone kissed me passionately, granted, the on lookers on the train were quite aware we had not met before, although I wouldn’t doubt it if they thought were a couple trying to “act it out.” I sat in a state of utter presence. I had no thought of the past, the future, or anything as he kissed me. I completely blanked out for a few moments. Destiny is destiny.
When I came to, I realized, there are strange lips on mine. Wow, they are soft yet masculine. Wow, I like this. Wow, I don’t like this that much anymore since it can be considered a violation of sorts. Wow, I need to breathe. Wow, he feels good. Wow, has it been 30 seconds already? I pulled away with a smile. Apparently we both just shared a “first.” How great are those… firsts. I honor them, more than most. The universe is blessing me daily with “firsts” which involve just me, and at times, the company of wonderful kissers as in this particular occasion. He had not done that before, and I had not had that done to me before. We laughed about it, I stared into his green eyes, he stared into mine. He told me of his heart valve condition, I told him of my MS. Match made in SWANK diet heaven. You couldn’t tell there was anything wrong with him, he was physically as fit as his one should be at twenty four. His heart is not ordinary, the fact that he owns his own business is also out of the ordinary, and his choice of timing matches the rest of the package.
I am at a point in my life where I can enjoy life’s little surprises. After losing Dunkin’ Dog, I enjoy moments for the present, for what they are, and not what they can or will or won’t be. I do plan for my future which has now changed drastically. In the meantime, as I am working to achieve that goal, I live in the now. Connecticut was a pleasant way to top off my sub-terra excursion from Manhattan to Queens. If I would see him again, I’d get him the t-shirt, “E Manhattan to Queens.” My heart needs nourishment that only I can give it. I’m eating for one.