Everybody in New York is going somewhere in a hurry and they all think their destination is far superior to anybody within their line of vision. People are actively avoiding eye contact with everybody else, including me. I like eye contact but when someone on the streets of New York looks me in the eye, I assume they’re thinking about telling me I have egg on my face but they don’t have time to get into it, plus they want to pretend they didn’t see a someone in broad day light with egg yolk face. I get it.
Every once in a while a pedestrian acts vulnerable in public. These people need directions. A lot of people ask me for directions. I don’t know if I look approachable or if they see me and think “I don’t give a fuck what this chick thinks of me and my inability to find my way around”. Either way, it’s kind of flattering that everybody thinks I look like somebody who knows how to get places. The thing is, I like giving directions. I like to help people. I like to see people get what they want out of life. I think that shows. Sometimes I wish I could keep in touch with all the people I’ve given directions to but I know it would be just weird to add that to the interaction. “Two blocks up there and take your second left, it’ll be on your left. You wanna keep in touch? Email or something? I’d just like to know how the directions work out, ya know?”. Maybe someday.
Every once in a while a direction seeker is a real jerk. A direction disbeliever. I had a guy ask me where Radio Shack is. Yes, I know, I didn’t think people went to Radio Shack anymore either but, guess what? I knew where it was. Yes I did. And I told him and you want to know what he said? “No, that’s wrong”. To which I should have said “So you know where Radio Shack is, you’re just walking around asking if other people know where it is? Leave me out of it”. But I didn’t. I sat there and defended my initial answer, knowing the validity of my directions. He eventually turned to ask someone else, I stopped myself from blurting out “Don’t tell him, he’s a jerk. You’re doing something nice that will not be appreciated”. I pretended to get an important phone call instead.
So there are people who don’t really want to be helped then there are the people who are more eager to help me than me, the direction interrupters. They come out of nowhere. Someone says “Excuse me, can you tell me where the closet subway is?” and the direction interrupter comes out of nowhere. “Oh yeah it’s so easy you just…” and I’m standing there thinking “Excuse me, that question was directed at me” but what do you say? If I get all pissy, not only have they stolen my thunder, they also get to see me say something stupid with an emotion fueled facial expression. It’s like Jeopardy for directions, a stranger calls out the destination and whoever gives the directions first, wins. Well I don’t want to play. If a direction interrupter shoves his face in the conversation and spews out the information, I blurt out to the person seeking assistance “I knew that. I knew the course to take. You made a good choice in picking me as the person to ask. Sorry I could not have communicated quicker. I wanted to be the one. I think you know that”
Then I ask them to call me when they get to their journey’s end.
Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t settle. www.kendracunningham.com www.blondelogicblog.com