Monday, November 21, 2005

Sarah and I

I arrived in New York by Chinatown Bus for a job interview more than 3 years ago. It was around 6 AM in the morning. The stench of Chinatown is pretty repulsive, to say the least. Standing on a street named East Broadway waiting for Kaybee to arrive, the sky slowly brightened as the skyscrapers on Lower Manhattan illuminated against the sky.

Prior to the trip, I had been to New York only twice but each time, it was very superficial visits. But not after this.

Kaybee was kind to let me stay with her in Hell's Kitchen. Later, after the job interview, I went to kaybee's place. There I got to meet her roommates. Normally, I am cautious and wary of meeting new faces. That is who I am. But kaybee's roommate, Sarah Pack broke through easier than committing a sin. How? She said something outrageous that made me like her instanteously.

She was saying, "Did you know that ... umm ... I often get free rides on cabs here in New York because of this [she pointed at her breasts]?"

From that point, I was hooked with her. Sarah went on to explain that most of the drivers are Arabs, Indians or dark-skinned guys. They always stared at her big breasts. She said it was such a nuisance but she knew that it excited them as well. Sarah said that they often declined her money to pay for fare. One time, Sarah told me that one guy personally thanked her for riding in his cab. She rolled her eyes and said, "At least, they are happy."

The next night, I was drunk and hungry. Sarah suggested a 24-hour diner on 11 Avenue by 49 Street. Today, the place went out of business. But when we entered the premise, it was cozy. WE munched bacon, sausage strips, eggs, pancakes and fried potatoes. It was fun chatting with Sarah as she mentioned about things in life from 2 AM to 5 AM. It was only the second night after I was formally introduced to her.

Her thoughts, frustrations and aspirations are similar to mine. We were able to change the subjects liberally as things go by. I hate the people who said, "Let's back to this subject ..."

IN fact, Sarah told me she HATED it!

It is no secret that Sarah and I am not in shape like many people. We are out of shape beings who struggled to deal with the issues surrounding ourselves. Sarah did not get big on "purpose". Her medical condition required her to take steroids which caused her to grow by size. Not her fault. I was able to divulge my frustrations on her, and her on me about our appearances.

When I moved to New York, and if I needed a timeout from the daily drama of New York Life, I simply paged Sarah and asked if I could come by and chat. She'd say, "Why bother to ask? Just come!" I ended up staying for hours and one time, for two days in a row.

One time, Sarah paged me to tell me to come over to her place for a dinner. When I arrived at her door, I saw Sarah standing by her apartment door. She said, "Bad news or good news?"

I opted for bad.

"I got locked out."


"I ordered the food from 9 Avenue diner and they're already here. We are going to eat at [pointing at the neighbor's door]."

I said, "You kid me or what?"

The old irish woman came out of her apartment and motioned us to enter her kitchen where we dined at her kitchen table. Throughout the dinner, we laughed, laughed and laughed about having our dinner at some stranger's home. We stayed about an hour before Kaybee finally got home and opened the door for us.

That is so Sarah. If things comes up in her face, relax -- it'll pass eventually. There are moments that I could not figure out what's going on in New York -- little tidbits that puzzled me. Sarah was there to explain that. I learned to appreciate New York through Sarah. One time she ordered ice cream shakes. I told her that I was not interested. She said, "Trust me on this."

It was homemade ice cream shakes from some restaurant on 9 Avenue It was heavenly. She introduced me to a lot of things and for that, I appreciated her very much.

It was such an unfortunate that three persons I knew and loved, Chanda Smith, Jake Temby and now Sarah Pack are gone. But I like to think that they are somewhere else to prepare one massive party for my Grand Arrival someday.

Yeah, that is probably the reason.



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