Where to start: chronologically, or by level of insanity? Or the order in which this all gets diffused from my sleep deprived, alcohol infused brain:
Let’s set the scene:
It was 2 pm, on the hassidic jewish version of the chinatown NY-DC bus which was idling outside Penn station, midtown. As the Jeff Spicoli wannabe who had made everyone roll their eyes at his loud cell phone calls to his “bros and babes,” and wore the impossibly ironic shirt bearing the slogan: “yes, I’m THAT guy” later attested:
it was a friendly bus.
In fact, I had befriended most of the passengers on the way up to NYC on Friday, a side-effect of being stuck on large immobile object for more than 7 hours. Well, most everybody, THAT guy, later renamed as “bro-ski” remained on my hate list well into the weekend. When the bus re-fueled somewhere in New Jersey after nearly depleting its reserves in the 4 hours it took us to reach i-95, we were all on a first name basis. There was my cute seat neighbor, whom I ended up exchanging texts with all weekend, not as much for his cutey phD student puzzling-solving intelligence (I got him hooked on samurai sodoku in Delaware) but for his confidence, which he oozed – which I can now identify as the all-time most important thing I look for in people. Plainly put, I realized that its confidence that will protect me from seething jealousy, people who read my email or accuse me of egregious immoral behaviour, etc…and its that small thing we take for granted that was sorely lacking in my last relationship, but I digress…
the reason why everyone approach me to make conversation was not because of my stunning good looks or affable personality, nay, it was because I was travelling with my monstrous stringed instrument, “the big guitar?” they always ask. No, it’s my cello, securely stored in a big bright taxicab-yellow case, the reason for which I always tell people who ask, “why a yellow cello case?” is because it rhymes, and because if someone were ever to run off with it, I could see them a mile away, laugh, because as if that would ever happen.
So there I was, rather content to leave new york, after a drama packed weekend worthy of a WB sitcom (specific stories to follow). I tried to relax into my seat as our bus driver simoultaneously scolded us for “keeping a big black man from his sunday night collard greens” if we were to mess up his bus, and professing his love for Reese Witherspoon – the absence of votes for a movie prompted a dictatorial decision to watch “Just Like Heaven.” Groan. But I found satisfaction in that my weekend trip was successful in its mission to procure two simple things: bagels and shoes. The smell of a dozen fresh sesame and egg bagels emanated from my bag and I was admiring my feet perched in their new 4 inch platform shoes that put me among the tall people whenever I so desire. And let us not forget my new Nicole Richie gigornous sunglasses which are begging to go out to brunch.
As the bus filled up, I was joined by a familiar pal from the trip up (though I did call him and his friend dicks for getting a cab before I did on Friday), we eagerly exchanged our stories: my 911 call to help an epileptic stalkerazzi fan at my gig for his bachelor party bachanalia. As my new friend’s stories grew tiresome, not helped by his obviously hungover drawl, I just happened to notice that the baggage door had been opened on the street side of the bus. Odd. A man, seemingly dressed as a bus driver rustled through the luggage contents, moving things, supposedly securing them for our trip. I then peered down at the familiar edge of my adorable yello cello, who served me so well the night before.
As the man went out of view, I quickly turned to the reflection of the bus in a clean-windowed building across the street, and noticed this man was walking away with my cello. Clearly, he was putting it in a safer compartment, perhaps bringing it onboard as I had asked when I made my reservation? But wait, this man was neither a hassidic jew, nor our bus driver, who is here in front of me telling us how much he likes Popeyes but despises Bojangles as much as loud passengers. I glanced furtively into the rearview mirror of the bus: this man was running away with my $18,000 instrument.
I don’t recall how I exited, I really think I went through the walls of the bus, just like Reese did all throughout that really shitty movie, but my feet were no longer wearing delicate tall heels, these were rocket shoes that weren’t even hitting the ground, I wasn’t breathing, I wasn't hearing anything, I was sprinting waaay faster than Carrie Bradshaw in her manolos running after Big, I was fucking flying at this guy like I was crouching tiger, or hidden dragon.
It could have been the incessant slur of obscenities which deserve never to be written or repeated ever, or the look of maternal rage of a mother bear without her cub on my face that literally made this guy drop everything on his person put his hands up and start crying, I will not know. Within seconds bachelor boy was holding this obviously mentally disturbed man as he started apologizing and cowering in fear, as my own silly (what if he had a gun?) adrenaline-rush turned similarly to tears and whimpers.
And soon the hassidic busmen surrounded us as we tried to make light of this situation. Someone told me I needed to call the cops. I didn’t even have to dial 911- all I had to do was hit fucking re-dial from the night before and once again, I was surrounded by law enforcement within seconds, love that nyc response time.
there was snot, oh the familiar snot from this fall, teeming from my nose as I tried to explain...this guy, took my baby, and holy shit, I just stole my fucking cello back...I stole my cello back.
When I took my baby back into my arms at the Mcpherson square dropoff, I saw a couple point to me and whispher:
“that’s the infamous cello.”