Because years of living here have conditioned me to always be on guard. To be super careful and expect other people to try to harm me–purposefully or by their own stupidity. Like the skateboarders flying off the wall and onto the sidewalk on Williams Street. It takes 5 seconds of common sense to realize there are people walking on the SIDE-WALK. And that skate board jumping off a wall at them could result in injury to them or you. Hey you, you have every right to injure yourself. Cut a finger off or break a leg. I don’t freaking care. But flying through air at me. I fucking care.
Hey walking 6 abreast tourists. I gotta be cognizant of every dumbass move you make. Like stopping and corralling your whole freaking family into a huddle in the middle of Broadway. Or turning around 2-3 times in a few minutes time. And why dear God must you walk at a snail’s pace everywhere during rush hour?!
On the subway. You the mentally incompetent knitter who thinks she doesn’t have to hold on. Guess what? When you fall back on me, it could hurt me. Yeah, you can fall if you want and hurt yourself but not me. So I have to pay attention to who is and isn’t holding on. It’s a tremendous amount of work.
Then when I walk into crowds. Gotta watch for muggers, gropers, and every other deviant that could abound. It’s why I hate crowds. I can’t be on my game every second. And god freaking forbid anyone else be cognizant of other people or take responsibility for their actions. Hell to the no.
This is why I can’t ever relax in New York. And maybe it’s why I’ve really started to hate being here.