Today I gave my first directional aid to someone on the street.
I like to think of her as a little lost lamb, the woman I helped, and I as her directionally-gifted guardian angel, purposely placed here to lead her down the right path (and, if not the “right” one, a path of some sort, nonetheless).
Granted, it sounded as though the frequency with which this woman read/spoke the English language was on par with how often I don’t get lost (i.e. we’re talking low percentages here, people). And she pronounced “24th Street” as “Tinty-Farce Steet,” looking up at me with naive, pleading eyes, having no idea to whom she had hastily chosen to entrust her wellbeing and whereabouts. I almost felt sorry for her. Of all the millions of people in this city, she had inexplicably been inclined to single me out—what had she ever done to deserve this?
But, instead of cowering under the pressure and feigning a confused Korean accent or some impeding mental handicap, I decided, Today is going to be different.
So, I planted my feet solidly, gazed gallantly at the street signs above me, took vigilant inventory of our whereabouts, and, firmly and confidently, looked this woman dead in the eyes and said, “24th Street is that way, Ma’am.”
We were currently on 23rd street.
Okay, so maybe we were a mere 30 feet from her destination. And maybe all she really had to do was look ahead as far as a stone’s throw and see the 24th Street sign…So what?? Helping a lost soul is helping a lost soul, no matter which way you slice it. I watched her fondly as she embarked on her journey in the right direction.
My work here was done. So, I did what I always do at the end of the day, and headed to the wrong subway station.
(ps) It’s official … I’m in love with spring in NYC.
Train-spotting is serious biznass.
Beautiful saturday spring perfection.