I worked on my blog, novel and other things from 6:30 this morning until 11:30 when I took a long shower. I put on my clothes (jeans and a long sleeve pink beaded tee,) was on both my cell and cordless, confirming important appointments when the intercom buzzed. The super was on his way to tell me when the building painter was going to come and paint the outside of my door.
He said the painter was at lunch and would come in about half hour. I told him that I was leaving in a few minutes and asked if he would open the door so that the painter could do the door frame.
The super never asks; I had to tell him that it’s illegal to come into an apartment in New York without notice on a non-emergency basis more than once. I said this because I was trying to establish a decent relationship with him as he controls the coop board.
I made sure that my pink Filofax (my one low tech item) and wallet were in my Eddie Bauer daypack. Then I put on my very pricey long leather jacket. The leather’s sublime.
As I opened the front door I ran into the painter who was on his knees painting the door. On the elevator I talked to three neighbors about how fast time passes. I saw the doorman, another worker, and some more neighbors in the lobby, then I walked down to West End Avenue to get a cab as I was late for my doctor’s appointment.
After going into the waiting room, I took my coat off and gasped. The entire back was covered in yellow oil pant as were parts of the sleeves. I never did have the appointment. Nurse Jenna and I spent ten minutes trying to think of a solution. I love this jacket, and the board would tell me to contact my insurance company though it happened on my front door which the building’s responsible for.
The super hadn’t wanted to have the door painted anyway as I wasn’t one of the new residents who paid anywhere from 875K for the one bedroom with dining room and view of the Hudson two doors from me, and still needs much renovation, to 3 mil for one of the penthouses where George and Ira Gershwin spent their most productive years. (It says so on the plaque on the outer wall next to the entrance.)
I wasn’t thinking about that when I cursed my building and everybody in it as I realized that a cam phone isn’t a luxury or a toy but just as much a necessity as a cell. I photographed the coat from all angles. Nurse Jenna found a camera and photographed me next to the coat so that there would be a witness.
She called her dry cleaner who had no idea what to do as they send oil paint spills on leather out. But brilliantly, she thought about a shoe repair place a block away. I went there. The man tested it and said that he could do it. I’ll know tomorrow.
I had to pick up a prescription and do some other errands (I cancelled my appointments. This was much more than a bad hair day.) A woman stopped me and asked why I was coatless in December. I explained. We laughed at the absurdity of it as I went into Talbot’s the nearest store that sold coats. Filene’s Basement, three blocks away and across Broadway was way too far. I’m cold bloodied; I wear sweaters in August. I had to have a jacket that second. I stupidly didn’t think of going into Big Luce’s apartment and borrowing a jacket. Her apartment’s just off Broadway, a block before Talbot’s and I have keys. STUPID.
I bought a cute but unlined jacket at Talbot’s that was still over a hundred dollars. My leather jacket was much more than that and was in perfect condition.
At the pharmacy I ran into a more-than-semi-famous-actress I had taken some classes with. She’s been in many things since our last class two years ago but of course I could only remember the three minutes she was on The Soprano’s.
We talked like people do who like each other but know that they’ll never stay in touch; a bit awkwardly but prolong the separation. I didn’t even mention my jacket.
As I walked home I wondered why the people in the elevator hadn’t mentioned it? The doorman? Why had the cab driver picked me up and not kicked me out when he saw the paint. Was it magical paint that just appeared at the doctors?
I asked the doorman; he said that he hadn’t noticed. I went up to my apartment and vowed never to leave it again.
This was an average day in my life. I’m a magnet: somebody spilled his coffee on my pink cashmere sweater; I was walking down the street a woman swung her arm out and burned my red cashmere sweater with her cigarette; things like that happen to me often. I vow never to leave my apartment again at least five times a week, but somehow always do.