My She Said screening would begin at 6 pm, so I decided to catch a 4:05 pm train from Westport to Grand Central. But I was rushed and crazy as I left the Wilton condo, and it wasn’t until the train arrived (around 5:22 pm) that I realized I’d forgotten my large, elephant-hide wallet.
No dough or plastic or even a subway card, and I had about 37 minutes to get to Alice Tully Hall (B’way and 66th). Plus it was raining fairly heavily so the odds of grabbing a cab (which I figured I could pay for with my Apple wallet app on the phone) were slim.
My first instinct was to jump the turnstile entrance to the Times Square shuttle. I tried twice and failed. I was loaded down with my leather bomber jacket, a wool scarf, trusty cowboy hat and leather shoulder bag with a computer inside, and I just couldn’t climb over…I could have done it 15 or 20 years ago but I’m not the gymnastic fellow I used to be.
So I walked upstairs and opened the umbrella and started humping it on foot. I had about 28 or 29 minutes left. It was totally dark with flooding everywhere and heavy foot traffic, and nobody was in a hurry except me.
I turned up Fifth Avenue and then crossed over to Avenue of the Americas, and between the heavy puddles and the overall slickness and the struggle of speed-walking while hyperventilating, I slipped and nearly fell four times. I was wearing an older pair of brown suede boots without much traction on the soles, and all you have to do is walk on those metal subway gratings and it’s easy to lose your footing in a rainstorm.
Lotsa cabs but all occupied. Damp, chilly, soggy-ass hat.
I finally made it to 59th Street and started walking west, and suddenly an open cab appeared. “Do you accept Apple pay?” I asked. The driver said yes but the cab’s pair code was seven digits and my digital bank card only had six. (Don’t ask.)
I tried to load Curb, a cab-paying app, but frenzy, nerves and frustration got in the way.
We were suddenly in front of Alice Tully Hall and the driver wouldn’t let me out until things were straight. “What about Zelle?” he asked. I hate fucking Zelle and told him so. “What about Pay Pal?” I asked. He said he didn’t have it but then changed his mind. I PayPalled him $17 and showed him the iPhone receipt.
Soaked and depleted, I finally made it into the theatre around 6:09 pm. I missed the opening scene in which the young version of Jennifer Ehle‘s character is running down a British street with tears in her eyes, but I was just sitting down as Carey Mulligan‘s Megan Twohey was questioning Donald Trump.
I managed to successfully load Curb after the film, and it wasn’t raining as hard so I got a cab and made it back to Grand Central without too much difficulty.