I have pieces of paper floating around that have little notes written on them that I don't necessarily want to throw out and definitely don't want to keep. One of these notes occurred when I was trapped in the vestibule of a brownstone on 121st St. waiting for a trombone player to either let me in or out of the building.
It makes no sense, but that's what happened. And the story itself involves Chinese New Year RAT08.
Now, I present, Trapped in the Closet: AUDREY
"Audrey," and with that she was out the door.
I, however, was finishing a gmail conversation and did not have time to entertain affected dramatics, but when she didn't return after 10 minutes, I followed out the door as well.
"Something has happened," she said cryptically finishing her previous breath as if we lived in a clapboard house with no heat.
So I ran up to 2C to see what was occurring. Hunched and lurching, Audrey was panicking Mr. Ho and Anthony.
"She's not breathing!" Anthony said.
But I was witnessing the opposite - huge snorted breaths so messy that there was no way they could find their way into her lungs. They were throwing pillows and bottles and spinning all over the place, creating a mess that was adding to the confusion.
"I think she took too much medication," he said referencing the bottles that he had just scattered.
With one foot in the door and most of myself outside of the situation, I calmly directed the search. "What about that pharmacy bag?" as they tore open the bag and shook the bottles. "What about under that pillow?" as they raced to the pillows and threw them over their shoulders.
Uncomfortable with the strange puppeteer effect I was having, I ran downstairs to check on the ambulance. We both waited at the door trying to hide our inappropriate excitement. After 8 minutes at the door, we were both wondering why emergency services was so slow.
Finally they arrived, parked perfectly with lights flashing horrifying a line of SUV drivers down our one way street. They ran up the stairs with their orange backboard more like a team of lifeguards than a medical crew. We stayed at the bottom of the stairs listening as Anthony nervously translated Mr. Ho's garbled English as the medics foolishly tried to retrieve vital information from Audrey as she lay unconscious. The scene seemed to become hostile as the medics couldn't understand Mr. Ho, Audrey was laying low on life and Anthony's neurotic tendencies were showing they were not meant for such a situation.
Five minutes later for some unexplained reason, a team from Beth Israel drove down the wrong way of our street, parked in front of the other ambulance and ran into the apartment. "Oh shit," said one of the paramedics as she saw our slick 100-year old marble staircase and ascended with what looked like a MOOG synthesizer strapped to her back.
While at the bottom of the staircase we could hear what seemed to be a fight developing:
"Sir, sir, you need to calm down."
"You don't understand she's usually very active."
"Audrey, can you tell us what's wrong."
"We were supposed to go to dinner. She never came up. She was bleeding from her mouth."
"Sir, we are trying to work. You both need to leave the room."
"What! You can't kick us out."
"Sir, I will call the police."
we need to get her on, garble garble
"My foot!""Fascists." "I'm going to call the FDNY medics and the police."
Oh Anthony, such a vestige from the days when the neighborhood was filled with activists and bullet holes. Fascism is such an outdated word like flimflam. There are no fascist.
Then there was a ring at the door. Tapping at the glass, attached to a burly tree-trunk necked police man with at least 10 more behind him, with a taunting burly tree-trunk necked grin asking if I would please open the door. As I instinctively walked to the door because his plan of intimidation had worked, I wondered if I should leave the door close since the fascists might arrest Anthony. Their grinning teeth won and as soon as I opened the door no less then 30 FDNY flooded past me using arrogance and brute force as their key in. You could hear Anthony's face being pushed into a wall and the FDNY overtaking the barricaded apartment sounding like a crew of Paul Bunyans with "What's going on here," high fives and crotch grabs.
I think some of those lumberjacks must have run straight to the roof since Audrey's tiny apartment and the even smaller landing did not have enough space to hold an entire precinct. Finally, after over an hour Audrey was attended to and leaving the building. However, Audrey herself is not a small person, so the FDNY was devising a plan to lower her down to the bottom floor. Amidst a bunch of heave ho's and a hand over rail system, we see Audrey descends to the bottom floor like a scene from the bride of frankinstein. She is carried out atop the head of the simultaneously jogging precinct in some strange Chinese New Year parade come New Orleans Jazz Funeral march.