The Upper West Side of Manhattan is not the place to be on a hot day. Starbucks restaurants are few and far between along the stretch of Amsterdam Avenue from 59th to 99th Streets.
A 10:45 am job interview at Creative Alternatives of New York had me on edge—it was another interview at another “non-profit” that serves the mentally ill—how crazy is that? The quack business is the only business that is booming in this recession. This interview was at St. Michael’s Church.
I left the house early, deciding to walk all the way to 99th Street, thinking that before arriving at my interview, I’d have time to drop inside a Starbucks to cool off in the air conditioning, wash my face in the bathroom, and come down from a July 4th hangover with a “grande drip”.
So much sadness exists in that old-money part of town. The feeling I get while walking through the Upper West Side is one of being haunted. It seemed as if my soul, now clear of the psychosis and terrible sadness, that I am now open to sensing things such as ghosts, and being there in that wealthy part of town, a certain clairvoyance erupted within me—almost as if I was picking up vibes from spirits or “guides” that grew up and dominated that neighborhood. They were trying to get me to understand something and convey it to the populace in general—a warning of sorts from them—before it’s too late so they all don’t come to where the slaves have become the masters.
A small Spanish grocery store was the only place to use as a powder room, prior to my interview. I purchased a warm diet Pepsi and asked for a napkin; an old Spanish man smiled and handed me two, noticing my baby blue tie and the beads of sweat that were dripping, just dripping, like sadness from my forehead.
I walked all the way back to Port Authority in the heat of yesterday. By the time the interview had ended, in under a half-hour, I decided I wanted to hear more, sense more of what those old rich Jew ghosts were trying to convey.
But there was nothing that moved me in general, just empty stores that have been boarded up, a few major fashion chains here and there, and lots of fancy restaurants open still, where outside, one couple sat drinking fresh orange juice at a table with a spotless tablecloth.
Finally, I stumbled upon a Starbucks on Broadway—never again will I walk up Amsterdam, thought I. I raced inside, took a pee, not bothering to lift the seat, and I washed my face and hands—an attempt to remove the filth of that ritzy neighborhood from my very soul. In reality, there is no way to cleanse the stench of hell from one who has already walked through it I realized, just as a prissy Jew girl knocked on the co-ed bathroom door the minute I flushed.
As I waited for nearly 2 minutes for the hot hand dryer to automatically turn off, I recalled that awful sadness that came upon me, just as I passed 73rd Street, a stupor that lasted throughout my entire interview with Johnathan Hilton, while he tried to explain how effective Creative Alternatives of New York is at healing those suffering from trauma.