Wednesday, June 29, 2005

mark your territory

One summer back in college, I convinced a couple of high school friends to come visit me for a weekend. It was about 99 degrees on average then, and one of my friends, Sheila, hadn't been feeling so well. Nevertheless, Sheila insisted on walking around Central Park until we found the big white bridge and wanted to visit the Metropolitan Museum afterwards. We never did find the damn bridge, but we did drag our increasingly green-faced friend through several wings of the Met. Given Sheila's dramatic tendencies, we ignored her proclamations of sickness until she slumped to the floor in what can only be described as a swoon. We scooped her up and made a mad dash for the entrance, terrified that she'd throw up on a Rodin. We made it to the entrance all right, where Sheila proceeded to vomit the previous night's Asian Fusion all over the grand middle doorway at the top of the steps. She was mortified (though probably less so than the arriving museum patrons) until I told her that, hey, if you're going to puke in public, it might as well be in the main entrance of the main museum of one of the main cities in the world. Score one for Sheila!

Why did I tell you that story? Well, aside from the fact that it is one of the best things I've ever seen, I had my own Sheila moment last evening. Friend E invited me to an opening at her new place of work, another major NYC art museum. Probably not the greatest idea, since free wine and I get along a little too well. We were having a lovely time pondering the fashion choices of the attendees (red, white, and black horizontally striped socks with a red, white, and black diagonally striped sweater? seriously??) when I decided I needed a cigarette. We guzzled down our second plastic cupfulls of cheap chardonnay and proceeded out the front entrance. On our way back in through the revolving doors, as I stepped aside for E to go in first I tragically misjudged my distance from the doorway. Before I knew what was happening I was hopping through the doors on one leg, motioning for E to keep going. One of the doors had run right over my bare big toe, leaving a puddle of blood in the footbed of my cute sandal and a trail of droplets from the museum entrance to the ladies room. Thanks to the wine and a certain degree of shock, it didn't really hurt and I amused the little bathroom ladies by laughing uncontrollably as my mangled digit soaked through paper towel after paper towel. I still haven't quite discerned what the damage is, since I've only been brave enough to change the original bandaid once. What I do know is that the door sliced straight through my toenail and 24 hours later it's still bleeding. Needless to say, I think the Museum left more of a mark on me than I did on it. Score one for the Museum.

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