The Amazing Race

Every morning, as I skip down the steps of my apartment building, I wave hello to the environmentalists pulling cans out of my garbage.  But before I head over to the subway, do one last quick check to make sure I remembered to put on pants.

After going back upstairs to throw on some pants, I hustle back down to the street, finally ready to start my day.

But then, I see her.  Mildred*. She’s practically falling down the steps of her front stoop across the street, putting way too much pressure on the grips of the bottoms of those old Tevas, buckling her backpack around her waist.

We make eye contact, and it’s on.  I take off in a full sprint, throwing my packed lunch at a homeless guy who claims he is my “building’s superintendent” or something.  I yell, “You’re welcome” but I am secretly grateful to be rid of the lunch.  I had made it three months ago, and it smelled like hot dogs dipped in nail polish remover.

I get to the subway steps first, but I can see Mildred pumping her arms behind me.  I hear the train pulling into the station, and push my way through a pack of sweaty lawyers on a field trip to the zoo or something.

Mildred has stopped to grab at least 47 copies of AM NY, and the weight of her new accessory keeps her from making the train.  I punch my fist into the air – the international sign for victory – but accidentally hit a baby in a bjorn. 😦

I get off at 42nd Street, and slow my pace.  It’s hot out, and those lawyers keep swarming around me like a bunch of really boring bees.

I calmly board the shuttle to Grand Central, besting my own high score on Bejewled Blitz without even trying.

I walk into my building’s lobby, smiling and waving to all my fans** like the generous soul that I am.  I go to get on an elevator, when – out of nowhere – Mildred comes zooming in from behind me, pushes in front of me, and starts slamming on the “Door Close” button like some sort of lunatic who has imaginary races to work with her neighbor from across the street every morning!

I dive dramatically into the elevator car, and glare at her.

See you tomorrow, Mildred.


*Name changed to protect the innocent and also, I have no idea what her real name is as we don’t speak.

**the building’s security guards