A queue at my usual bus stop outside the M train, so long that it told me walking would be the surest way to get home before midnight. I have not seen a line that long since my last trip to Great Adventure, and until the MTA can make its buses more like Batman: The Ride, I refuse to wait on such a line for one.
Cars swirling and spinning their wheels on Fresh Pond Road, a major road in this part of Queens, which was only plowed in the most academic of senses. This was the route I needed to negotiate in order to get home.
Three young ladies walking in tandem across the entire length of the narrowed sidewalk, strolling very slowly, not a care in the world. I scaled a snowbank and almost body checked one of them just to get by.
A thugged-out guy carrying a very small dog under one arm. The dog was dressed in a Santa outfit, including hat.
37 sidestreets completely untouched by any sort of plow, and which will presumably remain so for days into the future.
Clouds of filthy snow and disintegrated tires, materializing and dying almost as quickly. The air stung with the sour smell of burning rubber, from dozens of morons trying to get their cars onto the street in sheer defiance of all logic and reason.
A gym with exactly two people inside: the attendant, and one man using an elliptical machine. The slow business didn’t prevent the gym from pumping music onto the sidewalk via an exterior speaker. The song was “Boom Boom Pow.”
A seven-year-old girl who packed together a very bad snowball. It flew apart in frost shrapnel as she tossed it, at point blank range, into her mother’s face. The mother, completely defeated, could only respond with a weak “stop it.”
A delivery car for a Chinese restaurant, pulled up as close to a street corner as it could get. The driver eased himself to the passenger side of the front seat to hand over a bag of food. The recipient stretched as far as he could over an enormous snow bank between the street and the sidewalk, and just barely was able to retrieve his dinner. Amazingly, the car was able to spin away back into traffic without much trouble.
A crew of 15-year-old Polish guidos hanging outside a deli who gave me the stinkeye for getting too close to their turf. I gave it right back.
A car completely completely covered in snow from top to bottom, except for one tiny piece of its trunk. This revealed a bumper sticker that said THE GODDESS IS LOOSE.
800 metric tons of frozen, smeared dog shit.
A man of Rex Ryan proportions trudging up a hill in a powder-blue Phillies hoodie. In this part of Queens, that means he is either very lost or very brave. Or perhaps someone who was banking on an Eagles win that evening to help him recover from a rough weekend with the bookie.
Not a hint of a whisper of a ghost of a bus.
My searing back pain getting worse with each snow-bumped trudge. Maybe you think I couldn’t see this, but trust me, this was the kind of pain you can see, like when you press your hands into your eyes and little stars appear in front of your eyes. I felt perfectly fine after digging out my building, if a little sore, but this lengthy stomp along along a few miles of barely shoveled sidewalk completely destroyed my fragile lower spine.
A man guiding his friend’s car, completely unnecessarily, into a snow-demarcated parking space another car had just vacated. He made the back-up motion with his hands until the car was in place, then did a “yes!” fist pump like he’d just sunk a game-winning three-pointer.
Some mook walking down the same side of the tiny sidewalk as me, who I literally had to stare down in order to claim my share of the pavement.
The bus stop where I normally get off on my way home, three miles from where I started, with its own endless queue of people waiting for their ride. I resisted the temptation to yell DON’T BOTHER. I can’t decide if this restraint was kind or cruel.
An exhaustion-induced vision of me choking Mayor Bloomberg to death and pissing on his corpse.