As I shower, I contemplate the magnanimity of the task that lay ahead of me. I'd been monitoring my intake closely and working out religiously every morning for an entire week. I have been preparing for this moment my entire life. In fact, I was beginning to think I was too old to model in any capacity. Twenty is pretty much mid life/over the hill in this world I was entering. I suppose that's one of the benefits of looking like i just finished middle school.
Towel dry. Now time to do my hair. That's another 10-15 minutes tops. I looked in the mirror at the young woman staring back at me. I had definitely aged since I started wearing makeup. I raised my eyebrows, one then the other. Squinting, I thought, hmm lemme brush my teeth.
Mother and Tia are up and chatting around the kitchen table. In my spare time, now that I'm awake, I've decided to get my work done that's due in less than 24 hours.
"Mia, wake up. Do you want something to eat? Maybe that'll make you feel better?" I'd stayed up so late on Friday and Saturday and gotten up so early on Sunday, that nothing could keep me up.
Ok, as one of my guy friends said about me eating an entire chocolate chip cookie and 12 ounces of milk:
"You can really put down when you want to...".
Yes, yes. Indeed. But I couldn't even finish half of a grapefruit. Mother seemed to think it was nerves. I couldn't believe that I could be nervous. I had been preparing for this day my entire life. How could I be undermined by my NERVES! No. I did a few more mirror pep talks and I was ready.
"Mom, omigosh, I'm riding the subway"
She explains to the present company: "This is her first Subway experience" And at this point in the musical, I break out into song and begin to sing praises to the Subway until....
THE SMELL hit me. Years of urine, feces, takeout and dirt assaulted my nostrils the moment I hit the last stair of to the underground area.
"Uuugh. The SMELL! Oh my god, it smells SO BAD!"
"Mmmhmm. I told you," Mother said patently. In all fairness, she and Aaron had warned me. It was SO SMELLY! Even as I'm recalling this experience, the smell still hasn't left my memory. Moving on.
The process of buying my metrocard was an experience that merits an entire blog post for itself. The screen was so grimy and confusing. And I was the designated young mind to buy several tickets for everyone. Oh Fun.
Next Challenge: which train to get on. Well, one thing was certain, we had to go downtown. So, I do believe we took the 3 train. Unlike in Washington D.C., where there are screens to tell you when the next train is arriving, I had to wait the 5 minutes or so, nervously anticipating the train of deliverance.
"Mreeeeaaahhh!!!SsssssCREEEEEEECCCCHHHHH!" A metallic bullet rumbled through the entire chasm of the underground chamber and came to a swift and abrupt halt beside the platform we stood on
"Frwoomp! Pshat!" The doors opened and a pleasant voice over the intercom in a loud and indiscriminate tone gave directions as to our whereabouts and the train's destination. Oh crap. I nearly bowled over the bystanders in order to get on the train before the doors closed on me. Despite the fact that I made everyone leave 3 hours early to avoid mishaps, I could not afford another 5-10 minutes on the dank platform. Ugh.
Finding a seat was easy enough. I suppose 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning is a great time to travel: no one is going anywhere. Well, that was nothing compared to the 6 train.
So we get off the 3 at 42nd Street (God help me if I get this wrong, or risk facing the wrath of those well acclimated with the transit system) then we went downstairs through a series of confusing hallways and staircases to the platform to get the 6 train. Cool. I was met with a throng of traffic.
"Frwoomp! Pshat!" The doors opened, and there was nowhere to stand. The short man at 5 feet tall was reluctant to move in toward the center of the car. If thoughts could kill, this diminutive annoyance would have evaporated. So, I did what anyone would do in my situation. I pushed him further inward so I could get on. Out of context I really sound like a bitch. I have no excuses. In my defense, I had to get on. And i finally did. He looked back plaintively as if to say " I didn't know you had it in ya?" Yep. When I want something done, I will get it done.
Again, filth. I looked at mother. She wasn't having a good time either. I tried pressing against the ceiling with the center of my outstretched palms to maintain my balance. Didn't work. I stumbled forward and back as the train screeched to a halt. A few passengers filtered off, I could reach the pole now. I wrapped my fingers around it gingerly. My palm burned with a hot vexation. Disgusting. My skin was allergic to all the germs from the millions of hands that had touched this particular pole in the past 24 hours. A hand joined mine, right above my index finger. I moved my hand down. The hand moved with me. And again. And again. By the fourth time I had had enough of the nonsense.Frustrated and annoyed from the filth I already had to endure, I took decisive action.
"STOP TOUCHING ME!" The hand's owner looked over at my mother, she shrugged. The next stop was his conveniently.
And five or so stops later I screeched above the noise:"This is our stop, c'mon!" Again, fighting to get off. I'm tougher than I look. Ha. ha!
I ascended the stairs. The sunlight bathed majestic towers grazing the sky. Morning in New York was promising, but we were still too early. I determined to find Ginny's apartment before we could do anything else. Ten thirty a.m. We had some time to kill before noon. What to do? I suppose food of some sort will have to sate our rumbling tummies. Bagels might be a good idea?
Next installment: Fittings, Fruit and An Odd Bagel Place.
Till Soon, much luv,