27 July 2003
hot town, summer in the city

For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to go up to New York City for the day on Sunday. I unexpectedly got the day off (in exchange for slaving in the Cafe at Borders on Monday), and since my parents were making the trip to see Lauren, I figured we could have a nice little family day, tooling around the city.

Okay, so there's a reason that everyone goes to the Hamptons in July. The city in July is stinky and stagnant. The air doesn't move. Everyone is cranky, and everyone in Trenton seemed to be taking the same 11:42 express train to Penn Station that I was.

I found my sister and parents right as I came out of the subway. My mother was brandishing a little digital video camera, and filmed me as I was crossing the street. My mom is taking a class to learn how to use the camera and how to edit it on a computer. As I neared them, I could almost see the waves of embarassment radiating off my sister.

We were in the elevator going up to her apartment when she finally burst.

"Would you turn that fucking thing off?" she stood facing away from us, as if she couldn't possibly deal with the injustice of being related to people as hopelessly uncool as we are.

Once in the apartment, which was extremely hot and covered in cat hair, we all stared at each other for a while. Lauren already looked she wanted us to leave.

"So...what do you want to do?" my mother asked.

"I don't know. I don't care. Whatever. Why do I always have to decide?"

So we went walking around the Village a bit, stopped to get something to eat, browsed in a bookstore. This killed a mere two hours. We finally found ourselves on a corner, arguing, as the throng surged around us.

"Let's go sit down over there."

"Why don't we hop on one of those tour buses?"

"That is so dumb. I am not doing some stupid tourist thing. Besides, it costs a fortune."

"It might be air conditioned, though."

"Can we PLEASE find a starbucks to cool down?"

"I'm not in the mood for drinking coffee."

"Well, how about we go uptown and see the Empire State Building?"

"It's too expensive."

"I don't want to ride the subways, anyway."

"I think we should get going home soon."

"Where's the nearest Tastee D-Lite?"

"I can't believe I drove 3 hours for this."

"I can't believe I spent $15 in train fare for this."

"You guys are so dumb. Why do I always have to decide what we're going to do?"

"Okay, so where's that fabulous store you're always talking about? Loman's? We can go to that, right?"

"It's like 10 blocks away. You can't walk that far in those shoes."

"How about the Staten Island Ferry? That's free."

"It's too far away."

"I can't believe you guys are arguing in public like this."

At this point I desperately called John, hoping he was done with work so he could deliver me from this hell. No such luck.

We finally ended up in Washington Square Park, where at least there was a slight breeze. Things at least calmed down a little after that. We had some Tastee D-Lite, which (sadly) was the highlight of the day.

I decided to leave shortly after that. Lauren walked me to the subway.

"So you're leaving when?"

"Oh...next Monday, I think."

"Back to Leb, huh?"

She rolled her eyes. "Yeah. Well, I'll see if Jess and I can come down to Philly for a little while."

"Yeah, we could go to South Street again." The breeze blew up from the subway. There was a silence, and I was trying ignore the intense stare of this guy who was leaning against a nearby newsstand.

"Okay, well...see you then."

She hugged me, but it was one of those teenager hugs, pushing me away even as we embraced. She kissed me on both cheeks.

"European style, huh?"

"That's how all my friends do it."

My sister, no longer a nuisance, but rather entertaining. At least she's got that.

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