Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chuck Norris lives!

I have just returned from a Westcoast Christmas. 

Penny, Ainsley's mom,  flew us home, spent the night, and now has to jump a flight back to Portland this afternoon.

Ainsley is at work and I walk Penny to Penn Station, navigating a route through tourists while carrying her two bags. We stop and grab a few 'I love NY' T-shirts at a classic hole-in-the-wall shop and continue West on 34th st. 

We get her ticket, watch the monitor, patiently waiting to see which track her train is leaving from. 

All is well, she makes her train and finds a comfortable seat next to the window. We hug and part ways. 

I sprint up the broken escalator toward the street noise above and charge, head down, along 33rd towards my cozy apartment and book waiting for me on our sturdy black couch.

I have 6 avenues to walk so I pull out my phone and give my folks a ring. My mom answers and we chat about my flight, our new puppy, what Ainsley's up to, how nice it was to all be together...

Out of nowhere, I feel what I swear is someone's shin violently colliding with my stomach. This has to be a joke, a dream, anything other than reality. As I unbend my hunched body, I look up and see a disheveled man, likely 25, in my face - vexed eyes penetrating my own. Time slows and my mind desperately searches through all possible reasons why my adrenaline is engaged and the wind is knocked out of me.

"You F***ing spit on me! Get the F*** outta here!" he stammers, among other things, as fellow pedestrians begin to gawk.

Mind you, I am still talking with my sweet mother about the wonderful Christmas we just shared.

"Are you serious?! Did you really just kick me? Who does that?" I question.

The man comes closer and I instinctively hang up the phone, put it in my pocket and anticipate having to fight for the first time since Jr High.

Two things I know for certain: 
1) I did spit on ground.
2) It was nowhere near another human being. 

His rage continues to build and the only provocation I can fathom must be coming from my  unrelenting stare. The gaze comes more from a place of utter dismay than of maliciousness. Apparently this guy is interpreting it as the latter. He gets louder, uses more expletives, and a confused crowd begins to encroach. The group makes me feel safe. I'm in mid-town and 3 in the afternoon for crying out loud! This is too weird to be happening. 

A smile creeps onto my face, likely emitting a message of mockery. I am not intending to make matters worse, I simply cannot understand why someone would kick a total stranger. Is he serious? my mind repeats.

I try to inform the delusional man that yes, I did spit, but it was not intended for anyone's shoe or to act as some sort of sign of aggression. 

In retrospect, I probably should have laughed it off and walked away but really?? Come on! -A Chuck Norris roundhouse karate kick to my gut? Really?

The stare down continues. The crowd grows. He uses a few choice fingers to communicate what his mouth has already been doing for 2 minutes now. He turns and walks away.

...."oh. my mom!" I think and quickly redial.

She was scared to death by what she overheard on her end of the line:
"Are you serious?! Did you really just kick me?"

I relay details of the encounter as she finally allows herself to breath and even laugh, knowing now that I am safe.

- Only in New York - 


Uriel said...

I guess everyone has a different way of greeting the new year.
But seriously, he kicked you in the gut for spitting on the ground? That's crazy. I'll remember to brush up on my kung fu before ever heading out east.

Matt and Joey said...

That's crazy. I hope your abs aren't sore tomorrow.

The Cornwells said...

You are brave. I cannot believe that happened to you! It is just weird. Are you feeling okay now? I can just picture the whole scene in my mind. I think you could start a short story book..."My New York" By Andrew Sundberg. I would buy it:)

I am glad that you are okay though. I would have screamed:)

Nancy S said...

Unbelievable. I agree with Brooke... you do have material for a best seller!! Get busy. Go. Now. Put down the book you're reading, pick up your pen and paper (ok, laptop, whatever), settle into the comfy couch, and get writing!!!

On a different note... Happy New Year to both of you.

grace said...

How bizarre and hilarious! When my aunt lived in NYC and was approached by interesting characters, she would just act like she was crazy and they would leave her alone. Try it out next time!

Lindsay said...

start looking for a publisher.

Vashoncheryl said...

I am speechless. You really look pretty harmless - why would anyone feel the need to kick you in the gut? I like the suggestion of acting crazy. Effective and fun at the same time - give it a try. Take care of yourselves and that cute new puppy!! Happy New Year!!

Kirsten said...

How's your gut feeling now? I just can't see that happening here in Bend Oregon!
Nothin' like NYC.