Clowns To The Left Of Me Jokers To The Right!

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A 911 Story

First let me start out and say, this is a happy story. Well, as happy as it can be considering what happened on that fateful day Sept 11th, 2001. Still I have to say, this is a family story, a friendship story, and of course … a love story!

A quick note: The story’s title has nothing to do with anyone in particular, but is a reference to the classic song, Stuck In the Middle with You, by the band Stealers Wheels.
You’ve heard it if you saw the movie, Reservoir Dogs and Mr. Tarantino used it perfectly in his badass film. But enuf about Quentin, this is my story, and the song and lyrics are a feature in my story.

So lets get to it!

It was four days before 911’s ten-year anniversary when the debate started. My boyfriend’s mother and husband were coming up from Florida to visit us at our latest housesit in Long Island. We are professional housesitters, and yes it is everything you think it would be.

Anywho,
The master plan was to hang out on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, then go into the city Sunday and take our bite. I looooove NY … and even though I’m trying to be funny, I actually have about six t-shirts to prove it. But seriously, I love it because it has a consciousness of it’s own.

See, to me, New York is alive, like an animal. I see New York as a cat town, this could be because I’m a Leo, but I don’t think so. I could name a couple of towns that I think are cat towns.  San Francisco is a cat town. In fact, my book, The Cat Food Chronicles is set in San Francisco, but that’s not my point. My point is that I dig New York because of its feel.

Okay, back to the story.

So, me and the old man are having one of our weekly heated debates. I as the female suggested we change the trip date to any day before or after Sept, 11th. He as the male suggests, “Absolutely Not!”

I asked him if he understood the gravity of what could and might possibly happen on a date like that, and he looked at me like I was an idiot, of course he understood … he’s smart. Which is the number one reason why he is my boyfriend. Number two is because he’s funny … really funny!
Ha, I said number two.

Anyway, as I said, the debate had been going on for days. There was posturing and politic-ing, a lot of eye rolling, a splash of condescension, and a few stand-downs which led to a stand off. You know … the norm.

I made it clear that I was not going into New York on the anniversary of the largest terrorist attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor, and he made it clear that no one is ever going to terrorize him! I think I said my standard quip, which is.
“Good for you Chris, good for you.”

Chris as you gathered is my boyfriend and sometimes this statement makes him laugh. Other times not so much. He laughed and we agreed to disagree.
I just want to say now that Chris is really pretty good at respecting my feelings in a sincere way, so  … thanks Honey.

Yes, I digress.
I also rhyme!

Cut to the day of the trip. Everyone is excited about going into the city and I’m feeling left out, and even though they poked a bit of fun at me for worrying, they got it. Plus, I knew they really wanted me to go with them, because … well, hell they dig me!

Chris’s Mom and Husband are very cool and we have done a lot of fun stuff together. For instance, we went to the Olympic trial in Oregon on a whim to see Chris’s cousin compete in the discus. This was in 2008. Chris’s cousin Adam got fourth, and became an Olympic alternate. Which means he would have ended up competing if someone had gotten injured.

More digression.

So as Chris packed his bag to go, asking me one more time to come along, I had an epiphany, which was.

If something did go down in the city, I would not want to be alone. In fact I would worry way more away from Chris, than I would with him. And it’s true, Chris is the kind of guy you want to be with if some shite goes down.

Yes I said shite, as in the Irish way of saying shit. So don’t get confused by thinking, Shiite. I am talking about something totally different. But for the record, I have great respect for our amended constitution and it’s laws. One of my favorite constitutional laws is, Freedom of Religion, so if you’re a Muslim, “Good for you, good for you.”

Okay back to my original point. Yes, I changed my mind and decided to go into New York!

I can hear you now, “Good for you Maya, good for you.”

Alright, pipe down pal, here we go again.

So by now you understand how torn I was. Yes it sucked, but the new decision was a good thing and I felt clear about it. I do want to point out this fact though. The fact is simply that Bin Laden did want to do something dastardly on the ten-year anniversary. You know, the word anniversary seems so weird and wrong to write on so many levels. You understand yes?

Anyway, he did want to terrorize us again. At least that’s what the news said. Apparently he had an actual plan that he tried to carry out. So, even though I didn’t let him terrorize me that day, I was messed with, and that pisses me off.

Regardless, I’m so glad we were all safe. But here’s the key for me and hopefully for you. The key is that I wanted to be wherever Chris was. Because on a good day, “I love me some Chris!”
So if you got your own Chris to love, or a Peter, or a Jan, a Marsha or a Bobby.
Let them know it this Sept 11th!
And from me to you, have a spectacular day.

Sept 11th, 2012 breakdown. Here is what we did that day in a nutshell.

1. I got my stuff together quickly, and we hopped on the LIRR (Long Island Railroad)

2. After Mapping out our plan on the train, we went to Battery Park, where I met a bunch of Monks from Tibet.

Please see photo:

Of course, I asked if Kundun was around. By Kundun I mean his Holiness The Dali Lama.
Through sign language and broken English a Monk told me that His Holiness was in town but not at the park. He went on to say that they were in town on the ten-year mark, to make a show of peace. Now this made me feel really good and I told them they were beautiful which they are.

P.S. If you have never seen the movie Kundun by Martin Scorsese, see it, it’s brilliant! And much kudos to Melissa Mathison who wrote it … that’s art!

3. Next we jumped on the ferry (got great seats too) and went on over to see that French chic Madame Liberty. What a cool present those Frenchies sent us. And when you have time check out the documentary, The Statue of Liberty by Ken Burns it’s on PBS, or get it off Netflix. It tells all about her and how we put her together. Boy what a project!

A note about Ellis Island:

Ellis Island was very emotional for me. I did a lot of thinking about my forefathers and all the people who came to America to make a new start. That my friend is brave! I also thought about what my Mother always told me growing up, which was, never forget America is a new country and we are only a couple hundred years old. As well, we are an experiment. So I have always remembered that we are an experiment. Which means we are young in the discipline of experimentation, and we are still learning.

P.S. I did register on the ancestry site and tried to look up my family. I need better info from the elders, so I am imploring my mother to leave my brother and I a written history of the family. I suggest you do the same with your mom.

4. Time flies, when you’re having fun. So of course, we were hungry. We stopped by this little Mediterranean place on the eastside, it was nice and casual and the hummus was awesome. Chris who loves Greek food as much as me, said he wasn’t into it and that he wanted to go to the hot dog place next door.

We went in and checked out the menu but then he changed his mind. On the way out there was this cool old fashion looking phone booth tucked on the side of the wall. All  of a sudden, Chris decides to go in and pulls me in with him. He starts dialing a number as if he is going to call someone. The next thing I know the wall is opening up.

Chris calls to his Mom and her husband Mark to come on and we all slip into this badass lounge like we were undercover movie stars. We got a table and did a little partying. You should have seen the look on people’s faces when we left. Can you imagine you’re sitting eating your Chicago dog in New York and all of a sudden four big touristy looking people come out of a phone both on the wall half loaded … WEIRD!
Please see photos:

5. The day was coming to an end and we didn’t want to miss our train. I’ve done that before and it is no fun. So we hopped in a cab and directed the driver to Penn Station. This was my first time in a New York City cab and it was the best cab ride I ever had.

The driver was very friendly and he and my boyfriend bonded immediately because they both had long Rock-n-roll hair. For the record, Chris’s hair is short now and he looks equally as cute.
Anywho, I being a music lover and a bit of a guitar player myself noticed that the driver had a guitar in the front seat of his cab. So I inquired if he spent time practicing in between rides. It was a definite yes.

Me: “Hey Cabbie how do you get to Carnegie Hall?”
Chris: “Practice my friend practice!”

So the sun was going down and the city had that blue hue going. You know the one that makes all the city lights look like stars? Well, the hue was going and I was feeling safer than I have ever felt before. Can you say anxiety disorder? So there I was happy as a clam and the driver who is stopped at a red light picks up his guitar and starts strumming this song.

“Well I don’t know why I came here tonight, I got the feelin’ that somethin’ ain’t right, I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair, And I’m wonderin’ how I’ll get down the stairs
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right,
Here I am stuck in the middle with you.” Please see video:

How’s that for a good 911 story?
Take care,
Maya

http://www.mayapruett.com

 

Stuck in the Middle With You Lyrics

by Stealers Wheel
from Reservoir Dogs Soundtrack

Download RingtoneSend “Stuck in the Middle With You” Ringtone to Your CellDownload Ringtone

Well I don’t know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain’t right,
I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you.

Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
And I’m wondering what it is I should do,
It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face,
Losing control, yeah, I’m all over the place,
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

Well you started out with nothing,
And you’re proud that you’re a self made man,
And your friends, they all come crawlin,
Slap you on the back and say,
Please…. Please…..

Trying to make some sense of it all,
But I can see that it makes no sense at all,
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor,
‘Cause I don’t think that I can take anymore
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

Well you started out with nothing,
And you’re proud that you’re a self made man,
And your friends, they all come crawlin,
Slap you on the back and say,
Please…. Please…..

Well I don’t know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain’t right,
I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you,
Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
Stuck in the middle with you.