You can’t walk around the city for long without seeing something that makes you say, “Only in New York.” This beautiful city has strengths and limitations that set it apart. New York is a marriage of madness and order. This atmosphere creates experiences unique to New York. Some of these experiences introduce you to heroes in disguise.
When I think of heroes, I picture Robert Downey Jr. at the end of the first Iron Man stating with full confidence, “I am Iron Man.” Or Christian Bale with that horrible voice sacrificing himself over and over again while I sit cringing in the Batman series. Don’t lose respect for me, but Val Kilmer is my favorite Batman, still. Sure, these are super heroes, but they do save lives. As do fire fighters and police…heroes closer to home. Real heroes.
I’m not sure I have some of the necessary skills to be a hero. I’m not talking about the heart or desire to help others. That I have. The skills are what I lack. Skills like agility, coordination, the ability to drive big bulky vehicles with stick shift (I can only drive an automatic) and well, strength.
I can laugh at the face of evil, but then I’d just keep laughing.
I once was given the task of escorting a blind man around the office for a day. He was visiting our NYC offices, and as he was unfamiliar with the layout of the floor, I had to walk him to and from his cubicle, the men’s bathroom (once inside, he was on his own), and the cafeteria. I didn’t realize how hard this task would be, mostly for him.
I had the best of intentions; I wanted him to be comfortable in our office and feel cared for. However, since I hate small talk, my mind tended to wander off while he was talking, and then I’d forget I was escorting him…and well…I walked him into things. Many things.
Walls, doors, water fountains, cubicles. I kept apologizing, and he was quite gracious. But clearly leading someone who needs help was not something that came naturally to me.
But I have always wondered what I’d do in a crisis. If I was in a bank during a robbery, would I go after the dude with the gun or would I hide? Would I sneak a cell phone and call 911 or get distracted by Instagram? Would I step in front of a bullet or trip over my purse and accidentally tackle the assailant? My money is on the latter.
I came close to such a crisis not too long ago. I was standing on a semi-crowded subway platform waiting for the train. I didn’t realize I was close to the edge until Sebastian, my iPhone, attempted to commit suicide. That’s right, my phone flew out of my hand and landed face down on the tracks! This is every New Yorker’s worst nightmare. Well, that and the Trader Joe’s line.
But here I was, on the platform surrounded by people, and my iPhone had just tried to eternally separate from me. You must realize I’m very attached to my phone. Hello, I named him! I was in shock. Immediately, I stated asking out loud, “What do I do?” “WHAT DO I DO?”
Thankfully, the train hadn’t arrived, nor was it about to. I quickly examined whether I could jump down to get it or not. It didn’t look that hard to a normal in shape person, but I am not that person.
I looked all around me, and people just kept looking at me like I was crazy. One guy gave me a look that said, “Tough break, but I’m not going near you.” I couldn’t believe I was losing Sebastian forever. Oh, but the iPhone 5 is out, so….
No, no, I wanted Sebastian back. Before I knew what was happening, this man shoved his bags in my arms and said, “I’ll go down there really quick, but just do me a favor and watch out for the train.” I was in awe! He was going to save Sebastian! Would I watch out for the train? Of course! Hello, Sebastian is down there! Sure enough, within three seconds, this hero in disguise jumped down, rescued Sebastian, jumped back up, and carefully placed Sebastian in my hands.
I thanked this knight in plain clothes profusely. I didn’t ask for his number, nor give him mine. I was too distracted by the renewed love I felt for Sebastian. Only in New York…
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