It’s August, and it’s the time of year when people get stabby. Andy started using “stabby” to describe a situation when you are walking around the city and people are acting more hostile than normal.
A fellow commuter called me a slut this morning.
My first apartment was a two bedroom apartment off the Ditmars stop in Astoria, Queens. I shared it with my friend Dan, who moved here from St Louis. He wanted to live in Williamsburg or Greenpoint, and we looked and applied for multiple apartments in both places. We either lost the apartments in the application battles, or we didn’t even apply because some of the apartments were truly disgusting. After two weeks, we gave up on Brooklyn.
We decided to start looking in Astoria, as it seemed like a nice, friendly place to live. It’s what my husband calls a good starter neighborhood, and indeed it was. It was clean, people were friendly, and apartments were the nicest I had seen in our price range.
Before I moved to the city, I worked at a theater in IL with a guy who would eventually be my first roommate in NYC. One night, we had one too many drinks, and stole a few lawn ornaments. This included a Virgin Mary, a lawn gnome, and a ceramic Dutch Girl. It was dumb, but we were 22, and dumb.
The gnome and Dutch Girl made it to NYC, and I displayed them in my first two apartments in Astoria. After 3 years, I wanted the Dutch Girl to have a new home. In New York, it’s normal for people to put things they don’t want anymore on their stoop with a “please take” sign. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, I placed the Dutch Girl on our stoop, along with some other unwanted items. By the end of the day most of my things were gone, but the Dutch Girl still remained. I went to bed hopeful; maybe tomorrow someone will take her home.
The next morning when I woke up and went outside, I saw that someone had taken the Dutch Girl! I was ecstatic! But as I was walking up the street, I saw glass all over the ground mixed with the busted ceramic pieces of the Dutch Girl. Someone had thrown her right through the glass door of an apartment complex two doors up. I panicked. I knew for sure a neighbor would tell the cops that I had left it on the stoop, and I would be arrested. There I’d be, stuck in the tombs over ceramic vandalism that I didn’t commit.
A few days went by, and nothing ever came of it. They fixed the door and I wasn’t arrested, but I still felt terrible about the whole thing. The innocent Dutch Girl, whom I obtained by committing a crime, had now been used to commit a crime. Oh, the humanity!
My husband Andy is an avid knife person. His parents gave him his first knife in his Easter Basket when he was 6 years old. Andy generally has a pocket knife on his person at all times, unless he knows he is going through a metal detector. It’s not for protection; he uses it as a tool. Some people are freaked out by it, but he doesn’t give a shit.
Andy is extremely safe with his knives, and I am not. I am what my family calls a ball and jammer, a term coined by Andy’s father. The only way I can explain being a ball and jammer, is to describe a toddler with a shape sorter toy. The kid tries for hours to jam the star into the rectangular hole so hard and fast that it doesn’t matter how messy it gets. And in the meanwhile, the kids hands may get bloody and there will be a lot of sweat and tears. Then, even with the toy completely FUBAR, the star magically gets into the rectangular hole. This is how I pretty much do everything, including using knives. Andy has been threatening for almost 8 years to make me sit down and learn knife safety, but I refuse. He has taught me a few tips and tricks and they made sense, but I can’t even remember what they are. It wasn’t my style.
This past Friday I was working from home and decided to make some toast for breakfast. The slices of bread were frozen together, so I grabbed a knife to separate the slices. I stuck the tip of the knife in-between the bread, and with full force pushed the knife through the bread. The bread separated perfectly, but the knife went right into my left hand where it meets my middle finger. I pulled the knife out of my hand and assessed the damage. No blood, but my skin was separated and I could see right into the fat of my finger. There was also a little fat hanging out of the wound which almost caused me to pass out.
“Oh my God”, I yelled and woke Andy up from a much-needed nap. I said, “I need to go to the hospital, I need stitches.” He asked why, and I said, “I stabbed myself with a knife”. I knew I was in for a ration of shit. The man can’t even watch me use a knife, because he gets too nervous KNOWING that I am going to hurt myself. Now after almost 8 years, his prophecy was fulfilled.
Andy looked at my finger and he wrapped my hand up. I spent my lunch break going by myself to Urgent Care in Park Slope (which I would give a 5 star rating). I was in an out in 20 minutes with one stitch in my hand, a tetanus shot, and some antibiotics just in case of infection.
When I got home I cried because I felt so stupid. I should have listened to him, I should have refrained from being an idiot, I should have never balled and jammed that knife through that frozen bread. Andy proclaimed that he is now going make me take his knife safety course. I avoided it for almost 8 years, so I may as well get it over with. However, it’s been 48 hours, and still no safety course. But I guess I win, because I am watching TV while he is cubing sweet potatoes in the kitchen.