The oblivious state of mind makes people feel entitled, too. Like the "homeless" guy that sits outside of my office every single day. He doesn't ask, he DEMANDS that you spare some change. He looks at you in disgust if you don't hand some over (I never do. If you can show that much dedication to getting money, you still have something to offer society. Do something! I have much more respect for those people playing an instrument and asking for money. Or dancing in the subways. I do not have respect for the man pimping out his 9 year old son/Piano Prodigy. I give them nothing, either.). Or the 20-something guy that rushes onto the train to grab the last seat as an old woman, or pregnant lady, or small child teeters around, clinging to the pole for dear life. Entitled.
I can't tell you how many times I have been stepped on and directly run into. People look at me surprised when this happens. I can't tell if they are surprised to see that there was a living, breathing human being standing there, or if they are surprised to see an annoyed look on my face. Whatever it is they are surprised about, I never get an appology. The other day I was walking down the platform. A guy in his late 20s to early 30s looks over, sees me, makes eye contact, and then steps DIRECTLY in front of me. Again I am met with a look of surprise. FOOL! What in the WORLD are you surprised about?!
But this state of oblivion, this Wonderland we all live in, is necessary in New York. You learn to not hear the rumbling of the train under your apartment and become OBLIVIOUS to just how many homeless people you actually witness peeing against walls. You don't want to know what's going on in that conversation at the office, on the subway, in that back corner of the restaurant. It will probably only cause you trouble.
You zone out how many service men cat call to you on your way to work, or out with friends. Seeing the Naked Cowboy and now suddenly Naked Cowgirls on the street doesn't phase you. And celebrities are spectacle you'd rather avoid. Talk about oblivious! Last summer after the major bomb scare in Times Square, there was another bomb scare which turned out to be nothing. But due to the earlier bomb scare, Times Square was evacuated. I was working at Planet Hollywood at the time, which rents out the second level to E! News, and Mario Lopez corresponds from there. Apparently Mario was on his way to film a segment, and the mere sight of him had gathered quite a crowd. Everyone was so excited! It's MARIO FREAKIN LOPEZ!!!! Remember when he made the mullet hot?? This crowd was following Mario straight toward Times Square, completely oblivious to the fact that there very well may be a bomb less than a block from where they now stood.
This oblivion that heaves you directly into your very own Wonderland is necessary. I was talking to Katie (K80) last weekend while she was visiting. A friend of her's and someone I've met on a few occassions is leaving New York and heading back home. Katie was shocked, and said that she felt that this friend embodies everything that IS New York! She's spunky and works in fashion, she speaks her mind and is a bit of a wild child. But this girl admitted that she doesn't like what this city has done to her. The oblivion, the Wonderland that she lives in has turned her into a mean, entitled, rude, crass person. Someone she doesn't like. This thing that she needs to survive in New York is the same thing that's killing the person she is.
I admit this is a fear of mine. I feel the Wonderland that I live in surrounding me. I hear myself call somebody an asshole when they are probably just really deep in their own Wonderland. I realize that, as yet another packed train pulls into the platform, that I realize only 5 of us are going to squeeze onto this train, and one of those 5 HAS to be me. All of these little inconveniences that I experience on a regular basis are things I feel like I shouldn't have to deal with. That they aren't my problem and I shouldn't be responsible for figuring it out. "Hello?! Shouldn't there be another train here like NOW?! Aren't they aware that it's rush hour?? How are they gonna let trains run behind schedule when I'M trying to get to work??"
I had friends visit me about a year ago, and my best friend since 8th grade made a comment about my inner bitch coming out. I laughed it off, but then the DJ agreed that I had changed. It made me nervous. What if I was changing? What if this city got the better of me? What if it started to change me into somebody I don't like? I could always stand to be a bit more ascertive. But not so much aggressive. Is the oblivion helping me, or hurting me?
|Will I become an Angry Tyrant?|
|Will I go Mad?|
|Will I get out alive?|